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Posts Tagged ‘Tour de France’

IMG_5697The detailed routes for the 2014 Tour de France are now online and as suspected it won’t be coming anywhere near Aix this time; we can’t complain though having had such a grandstand view last year.  But there will be (more…)

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tourHow would you like to be on the official stand on the Champs-Elysées to see the final minutes of the 2013 Tour de France? (more…)

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July 4th is going to be a pretty busy day in Aix with thousands descending on the town to see the departure of the cyclists on their etage of 175km to Montpellier.  Most of the primary schools are being closed as will many of the roads in centre ville. Over 50,000 people are expected to attend as well as 2269 journalists.  At least its great news for the local hotels with 1756 beds in the département booked.

The ‘Caravane’ of sponsors’ vehicles sets off on its parade lap at 11:00, then leaves the official departure line at 11:20 to make its way along the route dispensing freebies and entertaining the waiting crowds.  This year there will be 300 vehicles and 23 articulated trucks in the convoy.

The ‘Peloton’ of cyclists leave at 13:00 for their parade lap round town, then the real race starts at 13:20.  They will be in Eguilles at 13:22 –  2 minutes to get to Eguilles!

If you want to know more about the minute-by-minute schedules for each day the cyclists are in Provence, you should arm yourself with tour bookthe new hors-series from La Provence which is on sale at kiosks for 2,80€. 

In addition it has lots of interviews with local cyclists and focuses on ‘le Géant de Provence’ – Mont Ventoux.  At 1912m, it is one of the big climbs of Le Tour and has a fearsome reputation.  Aixcentric fils cycled up there on Saturday, then halfway down, met some buddies and cycled back up! 

I think that deserves a  …..enjeux_maillot_jaune

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How exciting – the Tour de France will be doing a circuit of Aix before they zoom off towards their next stop. 

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Can’t believe it’ll be a quick ten minute walk from our apartment to see Bradley and the boys shooting past… It’ll be fun too to see the sponsors’ Caravan/Parade of colourfully-branded vehicles throwing samples and freebies into the crowds.  You find you suddenly really really want that key-ring!

Click the tab ‘ Tour de France Your Personal Guide’ (above) to read Juliet Young and Ian Parkin’s culinary guide to the whole Tour.

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Exciting news … the Tour de France will be starting one of its stages from Aix on July 4th!  It starts in Corsica before coming over to Nice where there will be a team time trial.  They then cycle to Marseille which fits brilliantly with the celebrations for the Year of Culture.  Stage Six starts in Aix.

If you haven’t witnessed the Tour, this is your opportunity – it is great fun!

Aixcentric was taken along to see it by Aixcentric fils the last time it passed by our area.  We waited alongside the road near Calas – it really wasn’t crowded.  The ‘caravan’ came past and that was enormous fun – it’s a long parade of sponsors’ vehicles, decorated, playing music, and full of young people throwing little gifts at us all.  We had to jump up to catch key-rings, newspapers, bags, logoed gimmicks of all shapes and sizes.  There was then a wait of about 90 mins so we had a picnic literally in a bush to shelter from the mid-day sun….then came the helicopters clattering above us – and finally the riders swished past in seconds, chatting as they went.

This year the cyclists have to tackle Mont Ventoux as well as Alpe d’Huez.  Here is the map :http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/graphic/2012/oct/24/tour-de-france-2013-route-map.  It’s a coup for Aix and promises to be great fun.

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