Tour de France
My Tour de France is over.
Pyrenees Peaks first where we rode the iconic climbs of the Pyrenees watching the Tour de France before meeting the race head on.
Chris Froome, to all extents had the race in the bag but we all hoped for fireworks, good racing and the party that is the Tour de France to take off. It did.
By the time my little group reached the Alpe d’Huez the party atmosphere was pretty intense. Thanks to social media, live streaming and the huge media presence everyone is either there of keeping up to date on every moment of le tour.
There is something really special about hanging off the edge of a mountain, somewhere in France or anywhere for that matter and reading your favourite (live feed) or watching if there is signal. As the race unfolds electronically the energy and excitement on the mountain builds until finally the frequency of motos, official vehicles and choppers increases to such a level of intensity that you can barely contain your excitement and the live feeds are forgotten. The crowd is roaring, the roads crammed with thousands of people peering down the road, expectant waiting for the cyclists to arrive. Suddenly the curtain of fans in front of you parts and the riders fly past, the moment brief.
The experience is shared by all on the mountain, there are no social barriers, there is only le tour. There is some negativity but not much, the media overly focused on a few elements during a race dominated by Froome.
I have always said if you want to watch Le Tour stay home and watch it from the couch, however if you want to experience it, feel it, breathe it, you have to be roadside. I have always said if you want to watch Le Tour.
Over the past few weeks the 2015 Tour de France has given us some fantastic racing, great scenery and many highlights.
My Tour de France has been immensely satisfying. Watching my guests riding up some bloody big hill, monuments that the Tour de France has made famous. Most of my guests are normal folks, not super human pro-athletes and this quest to ride the mountains, made seemingly achievable by viewing le Tour is a huge achievement.
Most of them have seen le tour on the TV and have only been riding for a few years and the difficulty of the climbs is not realised until they try. While the pros cover these climbs in an hour or less, it can take us half a day to conquer a pass. The results no less extraordinary than those of the pro’s, they do it, they are ecstatic and they are all hero’s.
The Tour itself, the winners the losers, the fighting, the hero’s, well there is a lot to said. While I am sitting on the plane, recovering, I will gather my thoughts and post shortly.
Written by Phil Anderson