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Travelling to experience the best in cycling


Vetplant
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Travelling to experience the best in cycling  

25 members have voted

  1. 1. You have two weeks available to travel, which one would you attend? Bonus marks if you can motivate your answer...

    • Giro
      5
    • Vuelta
      4
    • Le Tour
      10
    • Classics Season
      10


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Assuming you have two weeks to travel overseas and experience the best in international cycling: Which event would you attend?

 

Feel free to add something that might be even better than the options listed.

 

PS. We are in the early stages of planning a trip for 2020 or 2021, but we don't know where we want to go. This is to give us some pointers.

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Classics for the win... the whole race culture around them just appeals to me. I also think there's a different kind of fan that watches the Classics... the traditionalists :thumbup:

 

The Grand Tours just seem too commercialized, every "jan trap en sy maat" with a few bucks pitch up there because it's the in thing to do... then they proceed to run in front of riders and get bliksemmed ^_^

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https://www.velonews.com/2019/02/road/giro-tour-or-vuelta-what-race-do-the-riders-prefer_483764

 

 

 

Would take a cycling vacation there

Verdict: Giro d’Italia

Again, another unanimous decision. Riders would much rather take a cycling holiday in Italy than anywhere else. Haussler said the combination of roads, cuisine, and even hospitality place Italy far above the other two.

“You can be in a small little hotel out in the country, and the pasta is the best you’ve ever had, the meat is amazing, and the coffee is perfect,” Haussler said. “No disrespect to the other races, but that’s not the case.”

 

 

I'd like to do the Vuelta as a spectator, looks like the most fun/least congested.

 

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Giro or TDF

Try to include the prologue town / city, then you will also most likely see the start of stage 1.... 2 for 1

As these are often in big cities you also get the chance to stay in the same hotels as the teams.... we did this for TDF starting in Monaco and London with many teams staying in the same hotel.

 

And then.... try go see a World Cup XCO / DH during the same trip, that will turn a good experience into a fantastic one

Edited by SwissVan
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Seen both the Giro and TdeF.

 

If I could choose, I'd take the day I spent time in the Saxo Bank team car following the peloton, but that is not going to happen again.

 

Some things to consider when watching from a stationary position:

 

The road closures from early morning makes moving around challenging, and so you must be in position early;

The peloton moves fast, and if you are on a flat stage, they will come and go in seconds.

 

 

 

I presume that you want to do more than see the race, but also to take in the atmosphere and also some riding. I am done with big crowds so what I would do next time is avoid the massively congested spots with no way in or out and pick a few smaller, more easily accessible climbs with lots of Dutch and Belgian campers parked. Set up shop and take a ride along the closed roads getting back to my spot before the flics chase me off the road.

 

Move to the next spot for the following day.

 

Good value spectating is watching an ITT as a stationary position gives you a few hours of action. If you are near the finish you also get to see the team logistics close up.

Edited by eddy
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Grand Tour vs Classics are 2 totally different things.

 

Classics you'll mix with the locals and realise that they worship cycling and they are worse than Saffers with rugby.Be prepared to drink a bit of schnapps to keep warm.

If you do the classics rent a bike and do a Sportive and watch the Pros the next day.Weather can be awful in spring so prepare to be cold and wet.

 

Never been to the Giro but lost count of tdF stages I've been to.The atmosphere is electric at the finish all afternoon and you'll end up chatting to strangers from all around the world.Take a bag with for all the free goodies thrown from the caravan :thumbup:

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We finished watching the Giro in the amphitheatre in Verona yesterday.. :) :D :D

 

also I have spent time on the TdF, Vuelta, and some Belgian classics.

 

This has been probably the best trip I've ever done with a medium sized group - we were 6 riders in 2 cars, we brought our own bikes over, and we rode about 500km/12000m of climbing in 8 days, including visiting 1 stage start, 1 town finish, 1 mountaintop finish, and intersecting the tour once along the route. We rode the Mortirolo, Gavia, Mendola, San Baldo, Cima Campo and the Croce d'Aun which all featured on this year's race, as well as the Passo Palade and the Sella Ronde, which didn't. Drop me a line if you want a copy of our 'ride guide' for some ideas.

 

Having said that the Vuelta was also exceptional both in terms of the quality of riding, proximity to the tour, and the landscapes. The TDF is obviously the biggest, but that means bigger crowds, and more restrictions on moving around.By comparison the Giro is more of a party atmosphere - in France it is more of a spectacle.

 

The Belgian classics also make a great trip, but I would not do them as your first venture. It is good fun to link together the Ronde van Vlaanderen and the Paris Roubaix. You can ride them both as sportifs on the Saturday, and you can spectate the pros on the Sunday, and they are only 1 week apart (i.e. consecutive weekends). The complication is that you need a well worked out driving plan as a spectator - ideally you want to see the start, catch them along 1 or 2 cobbled sections along the way, and be in the velodrome for the finish. It is possible, but local help is recommended.

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Final thought - the Giro has potentially tough weather. We rode in heavy rain and the Gavia had 4m high snowdrifts that we went around. It is great for a guys trip, but you have to be prepared to take on the elements. The Spanish weather can be a lot kinder in August.

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1. I would go to ride some of the famed climbs. Alpe D'Huez, Ventoux, Joux Plane, Colombiere, or the Italian ones - Finestre, Mortirolo, Gavia.

2. Best option for me would be to base myself in one or two central towns (like Bourg d'Oisans) and do several from there.

3. Planning it so the Tour or Giro go past would be convenient. But you stand next to the road the whole day, and they come past in a flash. You can see the riders for longer on a climb, but it is more work to get there. I like the TT suggestion.

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Final thought - the Giro has potentially tough weather. We rode in heavy rain and the Gavia had 4m high snowdrifts that we went around. It is great for a guys trip, but you have to be prepared to take on the elements. The Spanish weather can be a lot kinder in August.

 

Please post pictures in the "Where has your bike taken you" thread or I'll report you to Admin and you'll be tarred and feathered or whatever the digital version of that is! ;)  ;) 

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Have been blessed and watched multiple TdF as they come past our French home roughly every 2 years. If you can then the best recommendation is a start, mountain stage and a TT stage for the best value for money and time with riders to get the full experience. It’s a massive traveling dog show and you don’t appreciate the size until you see all the bits that aren’t on tv.

 

I still want to see the giro in the Dolomites and go back and ride them again - really the most stunning part of the alps.

 

The Tour of Flanders plus ?another I want to combine with a boys trip and spending 2-3 days on the WWI battlefields of the area. Maybe 30min on a rental MTB on some cobbles?

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I've never seen a grand tour live. Dream trip. But I've ridden the roads around and climbed Monte Grappa (Giro) . Also ridden joux Vuerte and up to Avoriaz in France (TDF) And ridden on Mallorca where sky has their pre season camps.

 

This is going to sound corny but riding those roads and seeing the writing on the roads and the pink bikes on peoples roofs and seeing a stars name on top of a strava segment you've just ridden is a wonderful experience.

 

This year I'm back in Morzine on my downhill bike but next year my better half and I are planning on hitting a few climbs in the Pyrenees. Hautacam, Luz Ardiden, Tourmalet, Aubisque are all on the hit list. And then Arcalis in Andorra if the budget allows.

 

Good luck with your planning. There's something VERY special about riding your bike on a Grand Tour Col.

Edited by Duane_Bosch
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I'm going to respond to your 2nd paragraph.

If you are looking for a road Cycling holiday (riding not watching) might I suggest Mallorca?

The roads are unbelievable and the scenery is beautiful. You won't find Alpine Giants but there are no flat roads. At least not where we were. SA CALOBRA is an incredible road to ride as well as the many smaller cols on the island. I absolutely loved it.

 

There's an event called the Mallorca 312 which does a ridiculous 312 (duh) km route around the best riding parts of the island. There are shorter routes.

 

But if you want to watch racing then this trip is obviously not for you.

 

 

https://community.bikehub.co.za/topic/180331-a-roadie-trip-to-mallorca/

 

*Edit. Sorry to be THAT guy telling you to do the trip that he did.

Edited by Duane_Bosch
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