Our Tour de France Adventure
Well we had a day that we can tell our grand children about. It started off with me wanting desperately to drive the 70km from our home to Utah Beach to watch the finish of Stage 1 of the 2016 Tour de France. After all, it's not every day the TDF passes through your neighborhood. Nathalie wasn't so keen but off we went.
The event is so big there's no way you can park near the finish line so we found a car park about 5km away and set off on our bikes towards the stage finish area. There was about an hour to go before the peleton arrived. We rode on down the road towards the beach and eventually noticed that no-one else was on bikes and riding. The crowds by the side of the road started getting thicker. The further we went, we started getting claps and cheers as we passed through. Next you know we pass under the arch with 1km to go and the crowds are now really starting to cheer us on. Our TDF debut!! Nathalie was just lapping it up. Go girl on your sturdy Decathlon hybrid.
We got to within about 100m of the actual finish line with the real peleton only about 15 minutes away. Ushered off to one side, we then had ringside seats to watch the finish and the aftermath with all the team cars and race director passing by. Once the race was over, the crowds headed onto the beach to watch the Patrouille Acrobatique de France do their thing. Spectacular.
It was quite a day and one I won't forget in a hurry.
Just out for a Saturday ride. What are all these people doing here?
Nathalie on her Tour de France debut
Leading the peleton to the finish, less than 1km to go
The TDF circus is in town
Time now for the real thing. The riders are getting close
Got a shot of the TDF Race Director. A busy man!
Bike porn at Sainte-Marie-Du-Mont, Basse-Normandie, France.
Not something you normally associate with a bike race. The first stage finished at Utah Beach, Normandy
The second invasion of Utah beach. Who's that photo bombing?
Nathalie again - a proud Norman
The French airforce acrobatic team, pretty good! Part of the TDF post race entertainment