Caught Eddy twice. Once at the start and then about 500m from the finish line while I was making my way back into the Vélodrome.
Before-last stage of the Tour de France this year: it was a time trial in Marseille and you could get into the Vélodrome to watch the starting/finish lines. I also found a spot to see the riders exit the stadium… and I must provide a photo of Voeckler, because what’s the TdF without Voeckler?
I’m skipping the second échappée and the poursuivants and the first peloton, it’s all a bit the same in terms of photos. But here is Voeckler – has he won anything after those days in yellow all those years ago? Probably… I just can’t seem to really remember.
Did I mention there is a lot of waiting around when you go to see a TdF stage? Because there is. At least this time around there were five groups of cyclists and not just one! And there were a bunch of Frenchies in the first échappée so I think many wanted to see if any of them could hold on to the lead till the end of the stage – it was not meant to be.
Then the caravane came and, boy oh boy, we had some of the worst kids standing next to us. They seemed to never have heard about sharing, they’d be at each other’s throats all the time, and their parents weren’t even trying to control them. And obviously they completely ignored the implicit boundaries of our picnic sitting area.
But hey, after the caravane, some more waiting!
In this deferred timeline I have, we’ve made it to the Tour de France and the 14th of July. This year we drove an hour and a half or so up north and, it turns out, it was the first time I had dragged my parents to the middle portion of a stage and they were surprised to see that so many were already there before us, “in the middle of nowhere”, about two hours before the caravane was supposed to arrive. I had to explain that in TdF terms, this wasn’t the middle of nowhere – there were two small roads coming to this départementale close by!
And then we started out the traditional TdF stage watching by having a picnic and just sitting around, waiting for a couple of hours.
Honestly, TdF rest days should happen on Wednesdays or Thursdays. During the weekend you get used to watching the race, then you get back to the office – Mondays are hard, it would be nice to have something to follow during the lunch break and coffee breaks. Same for Tuesday. By Wednesday and Thursday, you’re already panicking that you have stuff done that’s not quite done yet… so no need for distractions.