Monday, July 15, 2013

Le Tour de France

After waiting for several hours, here came the riders!  Zoom!

Le Tour de France route was nearby us on two days, so we went to watch twice.  The first day was west of here in Lignieres de Touraine, while on the second day we traveled east to Montresor.   Lignieres de Touraine was very crowded, not at all what I was expecting from Bill's description of back country roads.  The party was in full swing when we arrived 2 hours early.  We parked on the side of a small road leading into town, facing back the way we came, so we could get out more easily.  Good thing, too, cause it was worse than a Texas highschool football game when it came time to leave! (Those of you who are Texans, know what I'm talking about!)

So you would know which direction the race was going, there were signs.

The caravan of sponsors comes through first, throwing their products from fast moving vehicles into  the crowds.  We only caught one thing: a packet of flavoring to add to water:  sans sucre, sans calorie!  Bill had planned to set up his tripod for taking videos, but the crowds soon put an end to that idea.  At one point, a car stopped and a man emerged, to loud applause.  The local mayor shook his hand, he signed a few autographs and had his photo taken; then he was off again in the caravan.  A man standing next to Bill, seeing  his perplexed expression,  "You know Jean-Claude Killy?  That's him!"  Well, looking at our pictures later, it's not him.  Now we are left wondering, who?

The next day in Montresor was much calmer.  The crowds were what you would expect in a small village; all the locals and a few tourists.  This time when the caravan came by, we made a haul of freebies!  Snacks, keychains, hats, a blow up pillow, a packet of laundry soap, a condom and even a little backpack to carry it all in.  Fun!

Our collection of free things.  Each is given by a company who is listed as  "the official  provider for Le Tour de France", be it water, or cars, or condoms!

The lead riders, coming though both towns, whizzed by in a flash of color and applause.  The rest of the pack, while going just as fast, took longer to pass.  Then is was finished.  Time to go home.
Each team has a support vehicle following close by the riders.  There must be hundreds of thousands of euros  on top of all these cars.  Sorry Dan and Robin, they weren't giving any of these away!

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