Every stage is over 150 km long and they all start in a different location. By this point, fans have driven over 3000 km and it’s not even the halfway point of the race. Long drives, rush hour in cities and parking problems are the reality that needs to be tackled, let alone the mountain stages, which are coming up next.
If fans want to keep moving, they have to forget about lounging in restaurants and bistros. They have to buy or prepare their own meals on the go. The most reliable friends of any fan are a baguette and a water bottle.
The “English weather” moved to continent this year and rivers and fans were welcomed by hours of rain. Waiting for the Tour peloton in weather like that can’t be done without umbrellas. After the rain comes the scorching sun, with nowhere to hide, fans are either wet or hot.
Every stage is watched by tens of thousands of fans. To find a good space is sometimes more than just an ordeal. Especially the start and finish lines of stages, which are so packed, fans have to be there hours in advance to even see the riders.
Favourites are dropping out of the race and the dreams of fans are being crushed. The result of the race is unclear until the end, so any wholehearted supporter needs steady nerves and a strong heart to survive defeats. On the other hand, when a fan’s favourite triumphs all is forgotten and they just carry on smiling.
Text: Honza Hanzlík