Worlds greatest cyclists arrive in Paris

Written by Jennifer Hamerman

The biggest cycling event in the world hits Paris on Sunday 23 July. The Tour de France comes to a flying finish as the riders whizz their way up the Champs Elysées. This is an iconic French sporting event and the atmosphere is always amazing as the cyclists complete the 21st and final leg of the Tour, riding in from Montgeron to central Paris. Kids love all noise and colour and cheering on the cyclists.

Where to watch

As MLP went to press, Chris Froome had just retained the yellow jersey.  So it’s likely the Brits will be out in force again to watch this year.  Of course, the Champs Elysées is a fantastic spot to cheer the very end of this race. But it will be especially crowded there, and you could end up standing for hours and only being rewarded with a glimpse.

One recommendation is the section of the Rue de Rivoli in between the exit of the tunnel of the Jardin des Tuileries and the Place de la Concorde. And remember the riders make eight laps around the Louvre and the Tuileries, so the Riverside also makes an excellent vantage point and standing there will give you repeated chances for a great photo.

Getting the kids up-to-speed

It’s worth watching a few highlights of the earlier legs of the race on tv beforehand so that your kids get a sense of the incredible journey the riders have made and the ups and downs of the race.  You could share the route and teams with them in advance as well. Freewheeling France is also a good resource.

When to get there

The riders are expected to be actually in Paris at around 5.40pm and on the Champs Elysées at approximately 6pm.  If you want a good view you should be there a couple of hours before and you should keep in mind that those timings are not exact and it could all be a bit later.  So your kids should either be a little bit older or very interested in sports!

Need-to-know

Even if you have no interest in the Tour de France, it’s worth making yourself aware of the route, and the road and metro closures involved so that your day is not too disrupted.

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