Tour de France — 23 Days

Phil Anderson Cycling tours and Ride International tours at le Tour de France
Phil Anderson, First non European to wear the yellow jersey

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Posted on: 13th July 2014

The Tour de France can be a difficult beast to follow for the whole three weeks, and so it was that, following my first week in Belgium, a long drive was required to get down to the Alsace region for the next tour group.

We shouldn’t complain, though, when many of our guests had just gotten off a 28 hour flight from Australia. However, there was no sign of jetlag as we took our first ride through the beautiful vineyards of the Alsace region. 

Everyone was glad to stretch their legs, guests saying it was “just how I had dreamed riding in France would be”. 

We got back from our ride just in time to catch the end of the Tour coverage, watching Matteo Trentin win a stage that I won 32 years ago in Nancy. We witnessed a great win and we saw Simon Gerrans continue to impress in the sprint. 

Funnily enough, last week I commented that Gerro might need to get a little more aggressive if he’s to succeed in big bunch kicks. In Nancy, I’d say it was Talansky who needed to get the elbows out a bit more to avoid crashing.

Then we wandered through the ancient town of Riquelihr to enjoy a degustation banquet to celebrate our first day. The wines we sampled were from the very vines we could see out of the window. I enjoyed the chance to have a chat to all the guests while endless courses seemed to come out of the kitchen, each one would make Matt Preston salivate. 

It was nice to have a gentle ride to start our Alsace-Alpes tour, starting on the flat quiet roads where everyone could ride two abreast and get to know each other while rolling through the wine country.

We also had a great view of yesterday’s stage to Geradmer. It was a more challenging ride for our group but seeing Richie Porte step up was fantastic. 

Photos of that in the next edition!

Written by Phil Anderson

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