Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Tour de France 2014 Carcassonne to Bagnères-de-Luchon Approaching Fanjeaux

We had a lovely day out yesterday watching the Tour De France from our nearest point this year which was close to Fanjeaux. We chose a spot near the bottom of the hill where it was less steep but also less crowded.

We got there about 10.00 a.m. but soon realised we had already missed the sponsor cars, because we could see people were wearing Skoda hats, big hands and various other freebies that had been thrown to the crowds.

So the moral of the story is that an hour and a half before the Tour arrives isn't early enough if you want to see the whole show. You probably need to add at least another hour to that.

That said the main event was of course the Tour itself and this was Stage 16 on the 22nd July 2014  going from Carcassonne to Bagnères-de-Luchon and we had our cameras ready and waiting. The clue they were near of course is the circling helicopters you hear and see as they film the Tour de France from above.

Angela had the job of taking the still photographs and I decided that this year it would be a good idea to video the event as they all went by. Basically because we knew, from previous years, that even on an uphill section that they go by like a steam train and you have to be really quick to get your photographs.

I think all in all we did a pretty good job, we were certainly in the right place because they passed us with only inches to spare, as you will see in the video. But the stills that Angela managed to get were pretty good as I hope you agree.

Where we were

When we were there

Here they come
Check out this guy nonchalantly taking a drink!
Hardly breaking a sweat, uphill doing around 50-60 km h
The front runners

Couldn't be much closer without hitching a ride

A rare gap in the pack

So once proceedings were over we visited some friends in Fanjeaux and made an impromptu decision to see if we could get lunch at the Table de Cathare. A quick phone call and confirmation that they actually had a table, they did but only just, and we were sitting down to a lovely set meal of salad starter, duck main course and a desert. OK their normal 13 euro menu wasn't available and this menu was 20 euros. But it was Tour de France day and by the time we finished all I could do was waddle back to the car, thankful that I wasn't riding a bike to the Pyrenees that afternoon. A lovely finish to a great French event.

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