It's unlike the Indy 500, the Daytona 500 and the Kentucky Derby – major sporting events in which the contestants circle a course as spectators remain seated, at least until they leap to their feet in excitement or disbelief.
It's even a far cry from the Masters, during which spectators can easily follow the world's top golfers as they move from one hole to the next at the expansive Augusta National Golf Club.
This is the 2017 Tour de France, during which racers will navigate the Alps twice in the course of covering about 2,200 miles in 22 days. Little wonder, then, that loyal fans are quick to point out that the Tour de France is no mere spectator sport. If you plan to book a private aircraft charter in Las Vegas through Cirrus Aviation, you should be prepared to do more than watch the tour; you should be prepared to experience it, too.
Assess the Tour de France by the numbers
The 104th Tour de France actually starts in Germany this year, the first time since 1987. A total of 198 bicyclists on 22 teams will cross the starting line on July 1 and proceed through 21 stages of the race, which includes two rest days.
Riders will wind their way through Belgium and Luxembourg and then travel down the east side of France before concluding with the Champs-Elysees stage in Paris on July 23.
Three-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome of Britain will return to defend his 2016 title, but loyal fans know: this long test of endurance almost always contains a few surprises along the way.
Tour de France Spectator Tips
Cycling enthusiasts know that the Tour de France requires planning on an entirely different plane. To help you make the most of the experience, they impart the following advice:
- Coordinate your trip with the official race schedule since you probably won't be able to take in the entire three-week event. For planning purposes, the 21 stages of the race are as helpful to spectators as they are to the racers.
- You can observe the tour from any section of the route, but the slopes on one of the major climbs offer the best views. Marked as “high mountain” days on the schedule, riders naturally pedal slower in these areas. On flat roads, they fly by so fast they can make a Kentucky Derby runner appear sluggish.
- Bike or walk up the mountains since driving will almost certainly snarl you in traffic and pose logistical problems if you want to move around. Public transportation – bus or train – is another option, but check the respective schedules to see if the race will create any changes in service.
- Consider staying in a small village along the race route, especially on a rest day. This timing ensures that you can see the previous day's finish, mingle with fellow race aficionados on rest day and observe the start of the next stage.
- Learn a few French phrases to ingratiate yourself with the locals.
- Bring a bicycle – not only to make getting around easier but to develop a keener appreciation for what the Tour de France demands of riders.
Travel by Las Vegas private aircraft charter
Now comes the fun part. How will you get to the Tour de France? Stow your bicycling enthusiasm (and luggage) on a Las Vegas private aircraft charter. Cirrus Aviation can arrange a flight to your European destination. We will help you plan a trip so you can do more than watch the Tour de France; we want you to experience it, too.
Call 702-472-9714 to book your flight to the Tour de France!