tour de france

Posted: July 30th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

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last weekend we went to france to watch the final battle on mt ventoux. we flew to lyon, then drove 3 hours south to the region of provence. on friday we intersected the tour in a small town (roybon) and watched them all pass by as french families from that area had picnics on the side of the road.

then that night when we were having dinner (provence is known for their food and they live up to the expectations) we ended up talking to the french couple next to us (e speaks french) and told them that we were going to watch the tour tomorrow on mt ventoux. they said that the main road was closed the night before because there are already so many people on it, so the next morning we got up at 6 to drive up a different road that intersects the race route 6 kms from the top (the climb is around 20 kms). we were able to squeeze our tiny rental car (fiat 500) into a leftover void space only 4kms from the intersection of the race route. so then we walked up the road w/ everybody and their grandmothers to the intersection of the race, and then met up with the cousins, uncles, nephews, dogs, elvis, dutch, spanish etc. the mountain was packed with people.

then we waited and tried to decide the best place to watch the race. we settled on a spot about 5kms from the top where there was a steeper section of the road hoping that this would inspire attacks, more painful faces, or at least cause them to ride more slowly. then we waited at that spot longer.

finally the caravan (the parade of promotional car-like vehicles advertising their products and throwing out chotchkies) started to arrive, and about an hour later the first riders of the breakaway, the yellow jersey group where we saw the 2nd place rider unsuccessfully attack the yellow jersey group including lance armstrong. then there were more riders to come, the guys just trying to finish the stage, everyone cheered for them. this happened for about 20 more minutes, and then the final group of sprinters and teammates rolled through and it was over.

but since there were 500,000 people on the mountain, leaving was even harder than getting there. everyone wanted to leave at the same time and the only way out was a narrow little mountain pass. the cars weren’t going anywhere and the bikes weren’t making much progress either, everyone was just packed onto this little road all inching forward for miles and miles. it was kind of a joke.

and thats it. we made it to our little car and inched down the road in the car and finally emerged on a road without so many people and we drove home after a long day. i’ll post more of my photos later.


3 Comments on “tour de france”

  1. 1 al said at 1:37 pm on July 31st, 2009:

    nice! was it anything like trying to leave Great America at the end of the day?

  2. 2 admin said at 2:50 pm on July 31st, 2009:

    yes, including the sunburn.

  3. 3 Mom said at 6:43 am on August 1st, 2009:

    More like leaving downtown Milwaukee after the Great Circus Parade, remember that? Love the photos!


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