Going to be in France July 12-19 and would like to catch some of the Tour de France. Any suggestions? Thanks
Can you be more specific... where in france?
Here is the link to the route...check it out to see if it will be near where you plan to be. Tour de France Route Information Page
I think the best stage would be from Saint-Etienne to Chamrousse
x2 on Saint Etienne to Chamrousse Watching the riders go up a HC climb right before the finish is probably going to be a lot more interesting than a sprint stage finish unless you get within about 100 meters of the finish or see one of the big sprint crashes.
If you're okay spending Bastille Day with a whole bunch of new Norwegian and Dutch friends willing to share their beer stash with you, Mulhouse > La Planche des Belles Filles also sounds like it could be quite cool.
Keep in mind that you need to show up early for a good viewing spot on the mountain climbs, sometimes doing a bit of overnight camping to stake your claim. And even on the flatlands, you need to have your spot before the publicity caravan goes through in advance of the riders.
And never pass up a shot to get your picture taken with superfan Didi the Devil if you happen to see him.
A steep mountain stage would be really good because they have to go slowly (for them!) and you can actually see each rider vs. 30 or more riders going past you at 25+ mph... a blurr...... on a flat road. We watched the final stage on the Champs Elysee and loved every minute. They do the circuit 10 times (?)... so even though they're going fast, we got to see them over and over.