We’re nearly there, and by there I mean here, and by nearly, I mean we have our bikes and will be starting our own mini-tour (sans cols and time trials) tomorrow. We are riding from Toulouse down to Sète at a leisurely pace along the Canal du Midi, keeping a particular eye out for visible vaches as we pass Castelnaudary in anticipation of the race riding through later in the week.
What does that mean for Le Tour (Actual)? We’ll probably still be in our saddles as the pros take to theirs each day, but we are hoping to get to our hotels in time to see as much of the coverage as we can (M Vache has been investigating; we will be tuned to France 1 and 2 and trying to follow as they hop between channels). The pocket wifi has been working a treat since we left Spain and – touch wood – will continue to do so in the countryside so I can watch the twitter commentary and Tour Tracker. Barring any disasters on the trail, we’ll be in Montpellier to see the end of Stage 6.
From there, we are flying up to spend a few days in Brittany and will be scoping vaches ahead of stages 10 and 11. Le vache tour part deux takes us through the Loire Valley, and we aim to reach Tours to see the Stage 12 finish. From then on, we will be scooting around in a petit Renault and will be popping up roadside and at various starts and finishes right through to Paris. Paris! Where, thanks to Ben, we have registered to ride in the Randonnée on the Champs Elysees on the morning of the final stage.
Daily previews of the cows to look out for and the vache-related snacks to prepare will be up at around 11.00am AEST and daily round-ups will follow each stage (tech willing).
It’s fair to say… I AM EXCITE.