Karsten reminded me of this last night and I thought it might be a good public service announcement for those doing their first Etape du Tour this Sunday.
The gates open to allow riders into their pens at 6 am, with departures ranging from 7 am to 8:36. In France, you will be hard pressed to find a hotel owner who will get up before 7:30 to serve you breakfast, so it might be a good idea to phone ahead and beg for an early exception. If they say ‘non’, hit the supermarket and buy your own petit dejeuner.
We’ve had good luck in the past, however, so, especially if you’re staying near the start line in Pau, the owners probably already know what’s happening and will have made arrangements to get you some sustenance when you need it.