Stage 21: Round-up

It’s over.

The 100th edition of the Tour de France was won in emphatic style by Christopher Froome, with 4’20” over second placed Nairo Quintano, who also won the King of the Mountains jersey and the Young Rider jersey. Kittel’s stage win on the Champs  Élysées completed his hugely successful tour, and Sagan limited his podium celebrations for the Points jersey by dyeing his beard green (or so I’m led to believe… I couldn’t tell as he zoomed past).

I’m still processing the whole experience. The “night time” finish – the sun sets so late here that the darkness I saw talked about on twitter wasn’t really apparent on the course – meant for a really long day for spectators. We’d entered to ride the Randonnée on Velibs, the local share bike. I’m not sure why; we are cursed when it comes to those schemes. That curse wasn’t lifted yesterday and we missed out on  getting onto the course. Still, seeing all the fans in yellow riding past was amazing, and I know that they had a ball doing it.

IMG_4431

Highlights?

Wandering around the Champs Élysées, checking out all the fans decked out in their team gear or, more commonly, some sort of national – or regional, hello Manx fans! – gear. The Colombians appeared to be having the most fun.

IMG_4442Finding a spot by the spectacular Arc de Triomphe, where we’d get a great view of the race (although clinging onto a tree for height made it impossible to get good race photos).

IMG_3055Image: M Vache

I did toy with asking if I could climb up...

I did toy with asking if I could climb up…

Listening to the course announcer and trying to figure out what his repeated “Juan Antonio FLECHA!” could possibly mean… then “David MILLAR!”… then “Antonio VALVERDE!”. Surely not? But then we’d see them come around and, sure enough, there’d be a Vaconsoleil leading a Garmin leading the pack… or a Movistar riding stealthily up.

Watching the final lap on the iPhone of a charming local man who’d lived just around the corner all his life but had never been to a stage because he’s “never in Paris in July, of course”.

Weren't Purito's kids just gorgeous? Oh, and chapeau, podium guys and all that...

Weren’t Purito’s kids just gorgeous? Oh, and chapeau, podium guys and all that…

Image: Vosges Matin

= = = = = = = = =

It was strange not “being” with all of you for the final stage – the telecoms were completely overwhelmed and I was getting very intermittent Twitter downloads, which was maddening.

Thanks for calling out cows – real ones and field-arted ones – when you saw them; recording all the troll DJ songs and contexts; and making me feel as though I almost had Paul and Phil alongside with the detailed Sherliggettisms. There’ll be an update on the fantasy league and a couple of final TdF related posts, including a proposed vachetastic course for next year, over the next few days.

And then… THE VUELTA!

 

 

One thought on “Stage 21: Round-up

  1. Scott Fitzgerald says:

    I retain my envy of your being there for Le Tour! I hope the light show at the end looked more spectacular in real life than it did on TV… which was pretty damn good. Thanks for the amusing wrap-ups of all the stages. And enjoy the rest of your trip.

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