These are my picks from a fan perspective. Factors I've considered are fans' possibility to interact with riders and teams, fans' possibility to see the riders, the caravan and the show over time.
If you want to make it a memorable moment, choose a mountain instead of in the middle of a flat stage. Seeing riders zip past you in 50 km/h isn't a good return on investment (ROI), in a blink of an eye, the peloton is gone. That said, I hope you don't run along the riders up the Galibier either, risking to cause a disaster.
Camping it is
Many of the climbs have good accommodations located close by, due to being ski-locations in winter time. However, you can count on teams, press and officials occupying most of these, so if you're not extremely fast when placing an order online as the tour "breaks"; bring your tent. When in France remember plenty of water, a hat, sunscreen and some cycling apparel of some sort. And if you don't wear a big smile on your face, you will.
First rule: Remember that the French police normally close the mountains for non-official cars at around 6 PM on the evening before the stage. Many people have found themselves stuck at the bottom of the mountain on the morning of the stage, presented with a choice to walk up towards the top or cheer at the bottom. On flat stages the police normally stop all traffic 40 minutes before the caravan arrives.
People stay in campers, pitch their tents or stay in nearby hotels, and they really create life to the race. If you choose to camp on Alpe d'Huez and live near "the Dutch corner"on bend seven, expect a sleepless night. They party like it's 1999. They are not all Dutch by the way, but mostly.
|Be there or be square|
The spectators are a crucial part of the tour. They create the happy mood and there's nothing like the peaceful teasing of other nations, right?
|Tourmalet 2009 - Velonews|
Photo downloaded here.