From the blue sea of the Med we blasted north on the TGV. After a short stop in Lyon where we transformed into campers and hired a car we headed towards the mountains. Next stop Chamonix. But not without coincidence the road ahead was closed. We had come a cross Le Tour in a small country side village at the foot of the climb to Col de Grand Columbiere. To me it was heaven sitting in the shade of a tree seeing how the town and tour circus gradually came together. Before the cyclists there is the caravan. A parade of vehicles with commercials and music with dansing hollering people who at the same time toss give aways to the crowds along the road. Its a show! The atmosphere and anticipation of the riders pumps through the crowd. And then there is waiting. But who minds waiting when there is icecream and hot dogs! Close to a hundred motorcyles and cars pass. And then the brake away group. A few minutes later the Sky train with Froome in yellow steam by. We see Edvald! Our favorite norwegian rider. And then Cavendish right at the end with one team mate in front of him to help him up the climb. Then its over.
As I write this the train of the day pulls out of Dijon. Destination Epinal.
The riders have passed and every one packs up. An hour later there are few signs of the happening. For us a drive to Chamonix and a weeks camp life waited.
After many impressive walks and views all around Mount Blanc we, or maybe I, wanted more of Le Tour. St. Gervais and the mountain top finnish on Le Bettex was only a short drive away. The crowds were bigger and the atmosphere crazy! The gray dirty faces of tired cyclists passed. Knees and elbows bloody all over. Froome battleing his way up. Shirt torn. But still in yellow. It was a big day for all of us as we made the 10 k walk down the mountain the cyclists just had been up.