Friday 13 February 2009
TOUR DE FRANCE - ARMSTRONG'S BACK!
WATCHING THE TOUR
We always make a point of watching Le Tour for at least one day every year.
This means parking our campervan somewhere on the route the day before, and we usually choose an uphill section, when the cyclists will be going slowly (relatively speaking). It takes a lot of beating, a night in rural France on a warm summer evening, with the Pyrenees as a backdrop and having all our meals en plein air.
Although the cyclists go by pretty quickly, it's a wonderful day's entertainment and a great spectacle because spectators start arriving with their banners and flags very early in the morning. And about an hour before the peleton arrives, hundreds of sponsor vehicles drive by, and most of them use the occasion to throw samples and promotional items - keyrings, caps, hats, T-shirts, pens and literature - into the throngs of people lining the road.
Then the helicopters arrive and everyone knows that the contestants are just around the corner.
We always have a huge banner draped on our van to support any Australians in the race.
And of course it's not over even when it's over, because we always watch that day's coverage on TV when we get home in the evening.
The above painting of Lance Armstrong was a commission from Cary as a birthday present for his wife Becky, so it now lives on a wall in their home in Kansas City.
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Posted by Ray Johnstone at 07:24