So, the great news – the Tour de France will be coming through Die on 20 July 2015. Having thought I wouldn’t ever get to see it in my French playground because it’s always in term-time, this was just what I was hoping for. Except I’ll be working on 20 July 2015, doing a rather public musical job, and one it would definitely be noticed if I weren’t there. Sometimes things just don’t work out. Oh well.
Anyway, the route goes from Bourg-de-Péage to Gap, but with the detailed route to be published much nearer the time, it leaves plenty of time for speculation. My own hunch is that it will go up the Col des Limouches, then Col de la Battaille and Col de la Chau to go down to Vassieux one day short of the 71st anniversary of the Nazis’ assault on the village: the riders would go right past the ‘nécropole’ there. Then down Col de Rousset (I shudder to think what speeds they will reach), and along the D93 to Col de Cabre, which would be the last climb of the day (and perhaps provide the best vantage point, near the loops at the top). It should then be a fast flat run into Gap, though one that would be long enough for a break to be caught by an organised peloton.
Anyway, that is speculation. What’s for certain is that whatever route they take will have roads that are in good condition – not that most of them aren’t fairly good already, but it’ll be interesting to see what improvements take place. I’m already seeing bits of what I imagine to be in preparation for the race; I think we’ll be seeing quite a bit more of the type I saw today on the D93 between Beaurières and Luc-en-Diois, pictured below.