Today was one of the highlights of our tour – meeting up with the Tour de France. We traveled by car and van to within 17 klms of the top of the first major climb of the day, the Col de la Croix de Fer and then rode to within 4 klms of the Col – about the closest the gendames would allow us to continue without walking. The ride itself was no pushover and we appreciated what the Tour riders cope with many times over in a day. We ascended about 1,000 metres while the Tour rides rode up 5,000 meters that day.
Prior to the arrival of the Tour, there is the Tour procession of all the sponsor’s vehicles throwing out sample of merchandise ranging from hats, lollies, drinks and even washing powder. the “less mature” of our group (only kidding) had a great time collecting all the paraphernalia that was thrown out.
Finally the Tour riders arrived, spread out much more than I had expected, and we got to see Froomey and other heroes close up. No wild behaviour from our group but plenty of cheering and encouragement especially to Marcel Kittle who unfortunately withdrew from the race shortly after passing us as a result of injuries sustained in a crash earlier in the day.
Hope you enjoy our TDF experience.