TdF Sunday 7/17

Another day in paradise…

Up early to enjoy our second (and final) Departure Village. Knowing a bit more what to expect, we got some autographs, got a little closer to the “important ” riders, etc. Here’s me and Richard Virenque enjoying a moment. He was a great climber from the late 90s and now a TV commentator. 

Here’s a good shot of the UCI guy checking the bike for motors by running a magnetometer over all the tubes. 

Some teams are more organized than others. At the Tinkoff bus, I watched as a 2-man team inflated tires to each rider’s preferred pressure and then a third guy came along to ensure that the water bottles were all turned to the same angle in the cages so the sponsor’s name showed well for the cameras. 

No oyster buffet this time, but still lots of good eats. These husband and wife wine producers took the plunge to showcase their stuff (kinda sweet for my taste), and it certainly was nice to talk to them for a minute. Very “real” amidst all the celebrity. 

After, we drove out of town a bit and set out on a ride. We followed the course up the first of the 6 (!!!) rated climbs the racers did, the Col du Berthiand (6 km at 8.1%, which is ouchy but manageable). It was over 90 degrees, and I heard Phil Liggett in my head talking about the melty tar on the roads. 

Then we continued down through the countryside along the Ain river, a very nice ride. 

Whetstone Station #2?
Dinner in old town Lyon, which was very nice but, again, inexplicably slow. It’s normal here, but why does it take an hour and a half to get the food to the table? On a Sunday night at 11, the well-reviewed ice cream place we trekked to had a line around the corner, which defeated us. 

And so, although we tried to turn in early, it was another long day. We decided to shorten tomorrow’s agenda… everybody’s tired. 

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