The tour de France rode through Grenoble today! It was the 18th stage of the race and started at Bourg-d'Oisans heading out to Saint-Étienne (196.5 km). I went with a couple of other interns to the city to watch it.
About 1-2 hours before the cyclist arrive..there is a procession called the caravan....of the sponsors and cars, motor bikes, people dancing on trucks and plenty of freebies :D and the police. It was fun waving and catching the freebies, it built up the atmosphere for the race.
I also purchased a tour de france umbrella and a tour de france hand band and pen and a poster ;)
About half an hour before the cyclists were scheduled to arrive I went to pick a sandwich from the store next to the route and guess what!! the cyclists arrived early....I ran out of the store and watched them ride by ...they just zoomed by sooooo fast...zoom zoom zoom ...they were doing close to 60 km/hr. It would seem impossible to cycle so fast on the city roads.
So there are a few cyclists that break out of the peleton and ride a little ahead and then the huge bunch (the peleton) follows and then there were two that were trailing behind...since they had lost time due to a fall earlier in todays race. I do not understand how the cyclists in the peleton manage to cycle so fast when they are so close to each other....it seems quite dangerous.
So I didn't get to take many pics of the cyclists myself since I had left my camera with my friends at the place we had picked for taking good pictures and I ended up watching it from elsewhere :P They were so fast that none of us were able to spot the one sporting yellow jersey.....i guess he was in the middle of the peleton i guess...even looking at the pics we have we couldn't find him :P
Will soon post pics of the caravan and also get some pics of the cyclists from my friends
I hope I can catch the tour again someday up the Alps when they navigate the 21 hair pin turns to the Alps d'Huez...it is very beautiful up there and ofcourse they won't zoom by so quickly and yeah I won't leave my camera behind to go get food for even a sec! yeah and one more thing I am gonna buy a cycle when I get back to Baltimore, if i practise hard maybe someday i will be able to go up the alps d'huez..ofcourse i may take forever to get up there...but i am thinking of giving it a shot :D