This year marks the 106th edition of the Tour de France, and since 1975, it has finished on the Champs-Elysées every year. This year will be no exception: on Sunday 28th July, the most famous avenue in the world will once again become the finish line that will be crossed by some of the best athletes in the world. If you find yourself in Paris on this particular weekend, this is definitely something you should witness with your own eyes! So if you want to find out more about the race as well as some useful information for the big day, have a look at our tips below!
This is the 21st and final stage of the tremendously long race. Starting off from Rambouillet, the final 128km-long stretch takes the competitors through places such as Le Perray-en-Yvelines, Chevreuse, Châteaufort, Jouy-en-Josas, Meudon, Issy-les-Moulineaux and Paris. Having finished the race there, the riders will have cycled a total distance of 3480km between 6th and 28th July. It truly is one of the most physically demanding events, which is why seeing the final sprint should not be missed!
Some practical information:
The final stage is scheduled to start at 6:10pm in Rambouillet, and the expected finish is just after 9pm. This means that you should be able to make it to the finish even if you just decide on the day!
As with any event of this magnitude, a tremendous amount of organisation is required, including amendments to travel and accessibility. The Champs-Elysées will therefore be closed on Sunday, 28th July between 9am and 11pm! If you can, avoid driving around Paris on the day, if possible.
As well as disruptions to road traffic, the métro stations closest to the event will usually be closed in order to prevent overcrowding. The easiest way to get around would be to get off the métro a few stops away and walk.
As with any outdoor event, the weather can play a key role in the success and enjoyment of the public on the day, which is why you should remember to check the weather! Luckily, the heatwave should be gone by this point, but there may be a slight chance of rain, so plan accordingly. Don’t forget to bring plenty of water with you and keep hydrated during the day!
How can you watch?
The Tour de France is extremely popular, meaning it could be challenging to find a good viewing spot on the day. Many people camp out from the early hours of the morning to guarantee a good view. So, if you’re in Paris, how can you watch the spectacle with your own eyes?
The Champs-Elysées may be the hotspot of the event, but don’t forget that there are many other places around Paris from which you will be able to see the race, so it’s important to be aware of some of the other locations…
The route through the French capital will encompass other great places such as the Assemblée Nationale, the Eiffel Tower and the Palais de Justice on the Île de la Cité before returning to the traditional route to the Place de la Concorde and Place Charles de Gaulle.
It is also worth pointing out that there will be a total of eight laps before the final finish on the Champs-Elysées. This means that a spot with a good view around this lap at the Jardin de Tuileries or Place de la Concorde could be a good place to witness the riders passing by many times!
Who to look out for:
Finally, if you are a Tour de France beginner, you may feel overwhelmed by the number of contestants and teams, and not be aware of the big names to watch our for on the day, so here are just a few examples:
Previous winners are always looking to defend their titles, and that is exactly what last year’s winner of the final stage, Geraint Thomas from Great Britain, will be trying to do. The final étape is one for the sprinters, as was proved by last year’s winner of the final stage, Norway’s Alexander Kristoff, who outsprinted John Degenkolb. Previous winners of the final stage also include a hot favourite for this year, Dylan Groenewegen (NED), André Greipel and Marcel Kittel. Whatever the result, it will be a thrilling sight to witness with your own eyes!