Sheree brings us a pictorial diary from her recent trip to the 100th Tour de France.
The Tour came to me this year, landing in Nice for the team time trial after three stages on the idyllic island of Corsica. However, I was working all day on my friends’ stand selling the G4 Eurosport Centenary Collection to the many tourists in town for the Tour. Luckily one of my friends was happy to share a few of his photographs.
Tuesday: Stage 4 – team time trial, 25km around Nice
This is how it’s done!
Wednesday: Stage 5 – Cagnes sur Mer to Marseille, 228.5km
The stage started in my home town and literally went past my front door! Well, okay, just the driveway leading to the Domaine but you get the picture. Luckily I had my in-house photographer on hand to take a few photos as I spent most of the morning in the village du départ.
Sadly I never picked up any freebies from Haribo this year. My favourites are the Gummi Bears!
While my husband was merrily snapping away at the peloton I was playing hide-and-seek with one of my little friends who had aped his father, a professional rider with BMC, by winning a maillot à pois. I think he’s trying to do his best impression of last year’s jersey winner!
Thursday: Stage 6 – Aix-en-Provence to Montpellier, 176.5km
Stage six united two of my favourite southern towns where the fabulous weather continued and I spent most of my time desperately seeking some shade while aiming the camera lens at the peloton. Typically the village du départ plays host to sponsors’ guests, the great and the good of the departure town, riders’ families and showcases both regional and sponsors’ produce.
Friday: Stage 7 – Montpellier to Albi, 205.5km
I imagine that Yukiya Arashiro was explaining to France television that not only had he won his national championship but he’d been voted VeloVoices rider for the month of June beating off illustrious competition such as Chris Froome and Mark Cavendish. I do hope he’s remembered to tell Daniel Mangeas, the voice of cycling in France, who’ll be able to mention it each time he signs in at the stage start.
This lucky lady spends the month of July on the back of a powerful motorbike brandishing a blackboard showing the time gaps to the breaks.
The best facial hair in the Tour and man of much wit and humour – follow him on Twitter @brianholm1962.
Saturday: Stage 8 – Castres to Ax 3 Domaines, 195km
Ah, another cooling fountain tempting me to dangle my feet in its chilly, restorative waters. I resist temptation in the Castres village du départ bordered by the Theatre, Town Hall and Goya museum.
Never, ever leave your bike unattended for a moment!
When it’s hot, the riders tend to remain as long as possible in the air-conditioned coolness of their team buses before heading at the last moment for the sign-in and stage start. The bigger names tend to be surrounded by a phalanx of minders, making it more difficult to take their photographs.
In 2010 Blel Kadri (Ag2r) had won from the day’s breakaway atop Ax 3 Domaines. Amael Moinard, then riding for Cofidis, had also been in the break.
These won’t be the last of our Tour photos. Panache will be in the Alps and Paris. Kitty and Ant will also be in Paris – cue fireworks!