Tour de France road closures

Some of the most common questions I get asked in the lead up to the Tour de France are about road closures. Here's what you need to know.

tour de france col d'aspin

Crowds on Col d'Apsin.

Road closure times during the Tour de France vary from region to region and even town to town. Closure times depend on many things: how popular that section of the route will be; how difficult access is; whether there are any access other roads; whether it's a mountain stage, a town centre stage or a rural road.

Who are the roads closed to?

When people talk about the 'road closing', they mean 'closed to motorised traffic': that's all cars, campervans and motor cycles with the exception of emergency vehicles, local organising staff, and Tour de France vehicles.

As always, the best way to get around is by bike. Even after the roads officially close, they are still 'open' to pedestrians and cyclists. Again, though, there is no rule of thumb here. In some areas you can ride the route anything up to an hour before the caravan comes through (sometimes even later), while on other sections the road will be barricaded off completely.  

tour de france caravan

What time do the roads close?

The best advice I can give anyone is this: check locally about road closure times. Ask B&Bs and hotels, and ask tourist offices as they will have the best and latest information. On the more common Tour de France cols of the Pyrenees and Alps, they deal with road closures on an almost annual basis so they really are the experts at navigating closed roads and finding the best vantage points. Also check local government websites – search for 'Mairie' (town hall/mayor) – and tourist office sites as they often have dedicated Tour de France pages, which are all managed locally.

Note that specific information on road closures may be confirmed as late as the week before or even a day or two before the event.

I am adding below specific links as they come to hand.

On busier sections of the routes, expect traffic jams in and out (and this also affects feeder roads used for parking and access). The later you arrive, the further you will have to walk/cycle to the route itself from local access roads.

Road closure times are subject to change - always err on the side of caution and arrive early if you are driving. Major cols and sections of the route where there is only one way in and one way out will be closed for longer (eg Ventoux, Tourmalet and most major Alpine cols will USUALLY close AT LEAST the afternoon before).

Try to avoid driving in host cities on the day of the Tour. City centre traffic is usually always affected – park outside and walk/cycle, or take public transport, into the city centre (or research public parking spaces and access in advance).

What time do the roads open again?

Again, this differs. The Tour de France is a massive event and all local authorities manage it differently. You can generally walk or cycle on the route again after the entire Tour entourage has been through. On less crowded sections, cars will also start using the route again fairly quickly afterwards. However it can take much longer before traffic flows freely on more crowded stages. As with the closures, things are geared to ensure spectator safety, and traffic movement largely depends on access roads and how big/popular that stage is.

If you need to get away quickly after the peloton goes through, DO NOT PARK ON THE ROUTE ITSELF! Find somewhere to watch that can be accessed from other local roads. Park up and walk/bike to the route.

What time do stages start/end?

These are all listed on the official Tour de France website, as well as in the official Race Guide. We find this invaluable and generally do not go to watch a stage without it.

Who do I ask on the day?

The route is policed by local police and volunteer marshals. Follow their instructions or ask if you're not sure.

Mountain routes are generally more problematic to get to than flat stages. For flat stages and town stages, it is usually much easier to find somewhere to watch that has a local access road feeding onto the route. If you use these, then you can avoid having to drive onto the route itself and the closures won't affect you. Some feeder roads WILL be affected by organisational traffic etc but local advice and signs informing you about the deviation are usually available.

As stated above, road closures are managed locally, which means it can be a nightmare to find out individual area details – it really does mean researching town-by-town. The info below is mostly in French but decipherable using an online translator. Unfortunately I just don't have the time or resources to translate everything or to search for info on every single town that the Tour de France goes through.

If the info you need is not below, it's either not yet published or I haven't had time to serach for it. You can do this yourself by Googling such terms as 'circulation' + 'Tour de France' + 'the town or stage you are interested in'. You can also try 'parking' + 'Tour de France' + 'the town or stage you are interested in' and 'stationnement' + 'Tour de France' + 'the town or stage you are interested in'.

If you find anything out that's not on the list, I'd be grateful if you emailed me at lyn@freewheelingfrance.com with the details or posted them in the comments below. 

Donation button

 

This is our 2018 page - we will update it with 2019 information as it comes to hand (usually from April)

* If you live locally and hear about road closures, please email details to lyn@freewheelingfrance.com *

All info below is given in good faith. Most of the links are in French (sorry, but I won't have time to translate everything - Google will be your friend!)

Stage 1 - Noirmoutier-en-l'Île / Fontenay-le-Comte

The Vendee tourism website has this pdf which shows the road closure times along the route and this one which provides more detailed access information to Noirmoutier-en-Île.

Stage 2 - Mouilleron-Saint-Germain / La Roche-sur-Yon

The Vendee tourism website has this pdf which shows the road closure times along the route – just keep scrolling down as it contains info for the first and second stages.

Stage 3 - Cholet / Cholet

There is a handy pdf here that has road closures and times for the time trial.

Stage 4 - La Baule / Sarzeau

Detailed information on closed sections of road and times can be found on the Morbihan local authority's website. Once on the site if you scroll down you will also find a nice pdf.

Stage 5 - Lorient / Quimper

Detailed information on closed sections of road and times can be found on the Morbihan local authority's websiteOnce on the site if you scroll down you will also find a nice pdf.

Stage 6 - Brest / Mûr de Bretagne Guerlédan

Cotes d'Armor departement has this page, if you scroll down there is a nice pdf with closures around the Mur de Bretagne under the 'Infos pratiques" section. You can also find information about shuttle buses (navettes).

There is also this government page on the route closures between Carhaix-Plouguer and the Mur de Bretagne.

Stage 7 - Fougères / Chartres

Stage 8 - Dreux / Amiens Métropole

Amiens Métropole have a handy map on their site which details access and parking for the finish.

Stage 9 - Arras Citadelle / Roubaix

Some Arras information here. Additionally, the local tourist office (thank you Delphine) has advised that in Cambrai the roads will be closed at least two hours before the caravan, which is due to arrive at 11.40am. So, the following will close at around 9h40; rue du Pont Rouge, avenue de Dunkerque, avenue du Quesnoy, avenue de Valenciennes, rue Jean Jaurés. Parking will be available in the main square of Cambrai or the Auchan Commercial Centre, but you will need to get there before 9am.

In Roubaix itself roads are expected to close at around 8am or 9am but closures will be focused around the velodrome, especially Avenue Alfred Motte. Advice is to park at the big shopping centre Auchan Leers which is 10 minutes by foot to the race. Access to the route will close at around midday. A good recommendation from Delpine to watch the race is to find a spot at Carrefour de l’Arbre in Gruson or the cobbles from Cysoing, which lead to Bourghelles.

For the Roubaix area, watch this page.
For the last cobble section around Hem, watch this local page.

Stage 10 - Annecy / Le Grand-Bornand

This pdf from Le Grand Bornand website has details of road closures around Le Grand Bornand and the Col de la Colombière as well as details of buses and cable cars.

Additionally, more closure details here.

Stage 11 - Albertville / La Rosière Espace San Bernardo

Road closures for the stage and surroiunding area can be found here on the Savoie route site. Lots of closures the day before.

All information on road closures and parking here. Be careful, La Rosière is closing the day before the stage at 19:00.

Stage 12 - Bourg-Saint-Maurice Les Arcs / Alpe d'Huez

For Savoie road closures, the Savoie-route.f site has lots of information.

LOTS of details here, in French and English.The key advice at the end is get up early – some of the roads are closing as early as the 16th July. Note that local gondolas will be working and you can also use these to go up the mountain.

Local Gill has also sent us the official road closure notice from the local Mairie. See here and here.

Info on getting to the stage from Oz here. The 20 min cable car will be open from 8h to 19h.

Stage 13 - Bourg d'Oisans / Valence

Info here, just scroll halfway down for this stage

For the Bourg d'Oisans area local Gill has also sent us the official road closure notice from the local Mairie. See here and here.

If you are in Grenoble for the race you can find details on the Grenoble tourisme office website.

Stage 14 - Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux / Mende

You can find road closure here on the Ardeche website and some times for arrival in and around Mende here from their local website.

Stage 15 - Millau / Carcassonne

Aude Departement Tourisme has published this information, including access information to the Pic de Nore.

Additionally the town of Pradelles Cabardès has published this, with the main points being that Pic de Note closed Saturday, July 21 at 20h, parking is planned on site in the town of Pradelles Cabardès and no “wild” parking permitted on the climb due to narrow road.

Fan zone details in Carcassonne (which includes screen) hereParking is forbidden from 22nd to 24th July in “Port du Canal” parking near avenue du Maréchal Joffre, Carcassonne.

Stage 16 - Carcassonne / Bagnères-de-Luchon

Fan zone details in Carcassonne (which includes screen) hereParking is forbidden from 22nd to 24th July in “Port du Canal” parking near avenue du Maréchal Joffre, Carcassonne.

For Luchon, also watch this page, this page and see below.

Tour de France Bangeres de Luchon

Stage 17 - Bagnères-de-Luchon / Saint-Lary-Soulan

For Col de Portet, see here.

For Luchon, also watch this page, this page and see above.

Stage 18 - Pau/ Trie-sur-Baïse

Local information for Pau here and local govenemrnt map of the run in here.

Stage 19 - Lourdes / Laruns

There is an embedded google map in the Lourdes Tourisme page here which shows parking and closures, just click on the icons within the map for more detailed information.

The D821 between Lourdes and Bagnères de Bigorre closes from 9h.

The road to the Aubisque between Gourette and Eaux-Bonnes collapsed for a stretch of about 100m following flooding in early June. Repair work is under way and local information suggests it will be repaired on time.

The local tourist office (info@ossau-tourisme.fr) in Laruns has advised the following: for the Aubisque-Laruns road, the Carrefour Villa Caprice (exit of Laruns) will close closing at 12.30 depending on the filling of the car parks between Aubisque and Villa Caprice. It will reopen at 8pm. After race, you can exit via the Col du Soulor or wait for the reopening of the crossing of Laruns from 8pm. (Thank you to Danijel for forwarding me this info).

Stage 20 - Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle / Espelette

Local government information here.

Stage 21 - Houilles / Paris Champs-Élysées 

Just don't plan on driving in Paris. Just don't. Use a public bike rental bike, take the metro/train/bus or walk. See also our page on watching the Tour de France in Paris. Note that access to certain Metro stations on the route will be closed on the day. Allow extra time to walk/cycle where you need to go.

I'm avin gtrouble uploading images so I've posted a link to Facebook to where team buses will park. It's the yellow P on the map here.

I'll keep adding to this list as info comes to hand.

On the blog

Cycling in Normandy

Avenue Verte London to PAris guidebook

Electric Bicycles book

Cycling in Normandy

© 2011-2017 Freewheeling France | Copyright, Cookies, Privacy and Advertiser T&Cs