Tour de France
Once again we split into a couple of groups and while I accompanied Janet and Malcolm in a more relaxed state, Rudy was given the orders to escort the more energetic guests.
Port de Bales was the last of 4 climbs of the day and the third HC climb of this year’s TdF. It was also the first time the guests from this final tour had seen the race so there was a fair bit of excitement.
Through the throng of spectators beginning their trudge up the mountain we rode, dodging the clowns dressed up in their onesies with their eskies in tow.
There were stretches of road where the crowds weren’t too thick and we could maintain a good rhythm, but then there were certain areas where spectators would congregate which almost always seemd to coincide with a close proximity to a bootleg beer tent of food stall.
Languages from each corner of the earth could be heard as we closed in on the summit and we eventually came to a stop at a chosen spot where we had a great view for the approaching caravane publicitaire and the inevitable arrival of the race itself.
It’s always a bit amusing to note the waning enthusiasm of the caravane performers as the weeks go on. The three-week job apparently loses the attraction it held in the recruitment brochures that guaranteed a summer of fun. No wonder—they’re out their dancing in every kind of weather for six or eight hours every day.
Our guests still made sure to collect a good amount of swag from them as they careened through, though.
It was great to finally see Mick Rogers, an Aussie, win a stage
As we head towards the end of Le Tour, the Orica Green Edge camp is starting to thin out. It hasn’t been an easy tour and I would think that management outnumbers riders. It has been announced that the team has secured it’s core riders for the next couple of years and that they plan to now nurture the young talent they have and hope they can carry the team into the future. The Yates brothers have impressed so far and look to be of the right stuff.
Written by Phil Anderson