Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Stage 2 - roadside report from Grasse.

My bike got a little knocked around on the flight from Melbourne. It's not too bad, and I'm not too stressed about it - any bike shop should be able to fix it.

It was Sunday yesterday, and in France nearly everything is closed, but we had more important things to do than worry about fixing my bike - Stage 2 of the Tour de France went through Grasse, about 15k from where we're staying.

I checked the road closure times, put some of the kids in the car and off we went.

Grasse is a pretty hilltop town, and we wandered around the centre for an hour or so, had ice creams & cold drinks, then found the TdF route and settled in to wait.

We sat on the side of the road for about 2 hours. There is a sponsor's 'caravane' that leads the Tour - 20 or so float vehicles, throwing things to spectators (the kids got a couple of caps), and keeping people interested while they wait.

I was starting to wonder this was this a smart thing to do - one of the boys was looking a little heat effected - when Le Tour arrived. A breakaway group of 4 (who survived 'up the road' until a few Km from the finish) flashed past, followed by a fleet of team & official cars.

5 minutes later, 176 cyclists flashed past. I saw the Saxo Bank team leading the peleton; I saw Lance; I saw Cadel, then they were gone.

We packed up, headed for home and a swim in the pool & a cold beer.

What a great day!!

Tomorrow I have to get my bike repaired.

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