I am very lucky to be heading off to Sarlat-la-Canéda on holiday in a weeks time. While we are there, we’re hoping to go to stages 19 and 20 of the Tour De France. We’ve been to the Tour of Britain a couple of times but this will be our first time of seeing any of the grand tours in person. The reason for this post is to hopefully pickup advice and suggestions from experienced Tour visitors and/or people who know the region.
For stage 19 (Castelnau-Magnoac ~ Cahors) we are planning on spending the day in Cahors to experience as much of the atmosphere as possible and obviously see the finish. Does anyone have experience of how busy a finish town gets? Will we need to get there first thing in the morning to have any chance of parking? We were planning on visiting Cahors anyway, so more than happy to spend the whole day there, but any local knowledge advice and tips would be very much appreciated.
Stage 20 (ITT Lacapelle-Marival ~ Rocamadour) We know Rocamadour and think it will be far too crowded for us to go to the finish. My thought was to try and find somewhere reasonably quiet that we could watch the time trial mid stage without being surrounded by thousands of people – either by going to Gramat or finding somewhere that a side road meets the route and hopefully being able to stop there. Do either of these sound like sensible ideas? Am I right in thinking the roads that make up the parcours will be entirely closed from around say 11:00am until after the last rider has gone through? Alternatively, would we be better off going to the start? Lacapelle-Marival looks like a pretty small place so I’m guessing it will be overwhelmed with people and we may not get to see much if anything.
Hearing others experience of seeing the Tour plus any advice and local knowledge will be VERY gratefully received.