There were fears that the threat of Dutch police strike action would threaten this years Tour de France, but luckily this action has been called off following successful talks between the police unions and Rotterdam City Council. A further potential threat to the famous cycling event came in the form of landslides, which have closed off parts of the planned route.
The Col du Galibier climb in the penultimate stage of the race has now been dropped, with the peloton now set to climb the Col de la Croix de Fer before lAlpe dHuez finish instead.
Despite these potential setbacks, however, organisers have made it clear that the show will go on! If youre planning to go and watch this prestigious sporting event this summer, then there will be plenty to see and do along the route. The event is now rapidly reaching its final stage with the race finish to Paris.
Tour de France 2015: Route
Running from Saturday July 4th to Sunday July 26th 2015, the 102th Tour de France will be made up of 21 stages and will cover a total distance of 3,360 kilometres. This years Grand Depart takes place in the Dutch city of Utrecht on the 4th and the race will end with the traditional sprint stage on the iconic Champs-Elysees in Paris on the 26th.
Watching the greatest race on earth
Fans from around the world line the route of the greatest race on earth, desperate to catch a glimpse of their heroes. Its advised that you get to your viewing spot at least two hours before the gendarmes close the roads in preparation.
The Tours publicity caravan will come through first, advertising brands and sponsors and often handing out goodies and free samples. For some, this spectacle (which lasts for around 45 minutes) is the real draw of the Tour one survey suggested that 39% of spectators are more interested in this than seeing the riders, who come past very quickly before they disappear!
Where to watch?
The Pyrenees or Alps are popular areas to watch the race, where the spectacular scenery make for an excellent backdrop and offers the opportunity for some great sightseeing once the race has passed through.
A range of accommodation is available in these areas, but it is advisable to book up fast, as hotel rooms sell out well in advance. Alternatively, you might wish to go and watch the final stages of the race in Paris. This offers a great opportunity to soak up some culture along with your cycling, and a huge range of accommodation and transport options are available in the iconic French capital.
What to take?
Temperatures can soar at this time of year, so it is always sensible to wear a hat and sunscreen, and have a good supply of water. The official Tour de France 2015 programme is also available, offering in-depth maps and statistics for the race.
And remember – if you are planning a sporty or active holiday this summer, then dont forget to take out sports and activities travel insurance before you go.
The Tour de France is one of the greatest spectator events of the year, watched by hundreds of thousands of people. Just make sure you claim your spot early!