15 Jun

Tour de France 2013 comes to Brittany and the Pyrenees

If you are lucky enough to be staying in a Vintage Travel villa in South West France or Brittany this coming July, you may want to think about joining the thousands of Tour de France supporters who line the route of the gruelling climbs of the Pyrenees or the roads through the sleek landscape of Brittany.

tour de france 2013

This colourful spectacle of thousands of flag-waving cycling fans is a sight to behold, and who knows, you might even get yourself on television!

On 5 July 2013 the legendary Tour races from Montpelier to Albi, a beautiful historic town in a region known as the Midi-Pyrenees that is well worth seeing. Albi was added to the UNESCO world heritage site list in 2010 and there is a myriad of historic buildings to see here after you have cheered the riders on.

July 6 is a probable defining day for the riders who must cycle from Castres to Aix 3 Domaines, crossing the Col De Pailheres, at a gruelling 2001 metres altitude, along the way. This is definitely a stretch where the known climbers, such as Wiggins, Nebali, Evans and Froome, will be wanting to gain valuable time over the rest of the field and could therefore be a dramatic stage to witness.

The next day – the ninth stage – will also present the riders with a punishing ride in the Pyrenees and once again it will be the climbing specialists who will want to break away and demoralise the Pelaton. The climbs in the Pyrenees are to be held earlier than usual this year and could play a significant role tactically. The ninth stage will see the riders cross no less than six different summits, taking them from St Girons to Bagneres de Bigorre. The riders will have a rest day after this and they will need one!

July 10 sees the Tour de France 2013 arrive in Brittany at St Gildas-de-Bois and from here the riders will pelt along to St Malo through the stunning yet comparatively flat Brittany countryside. Unless there is a firm breakaway this will most likely be a day of glory for the sprinters. So if you want to see Mark Cavendish, aka the Manx Missile, produce his turbo finish, make sure you’re in St Malo on July 10, 2013!

The following day is a time trial day from Avranches to the Mont St Michael, which is just over the border from Brittany in Normandy. The good thing about watching a time trial in the Tour De France if you are British is that it is highly likely that you will see a Briton win because right now the Brits are the reigning champions of this particular cycling discipline.

Witnessing the energy and passion of the Tour de France 2013 will undoubtedly make an interesting and memorable day out in you are planning to be in France this July.

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