GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAALLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!

Er, wait, wrong sport. 

What would someone say to announce the Tour de France? 

Yesterday Heather and I were fortunate enough to watch a turn of the last leg of the 2012 Tour here in Versailles.  Now, I’ve watched this famous race on tv for the past several years, spent days planted on the floor and eyes glued to the tube watching hours and hours of constant cycling footage. 

Alas, real life is never quite the same as seen on tv…

What you see here is the corner the Tour took here through Versailles… as seen five hours before they rolled up…

Thanks to my infallible logic I thought I would show up just after 11am so as to secure a decent spot for photo taking.  Decent spot secured.  But, reading the route schedule accurately on the other hand proved more difficult than I would have expected.  The peloton did not make an appearance at 1:30 like I expected.  To say it was closer to 4pm would be far more accurate. 

Five hours in the hot, shadeless sun, Heather and I now have photos of our first live Tour de France.  And nice sun burns to boot. 

The morning started quite slow with the occasional small group of cycle enthusiasts tackling what they could of the day’s track.  Slowly but surely Families and individuals began trickling out for the festivities. 

Then there was this vehicle, filming the route.  Dylan, any idea what kind of camera that is?

And finally, here come the bikes!!! 

….

By this point the pre-peloton parade was in full swing and floats were throwing stuff left and right.  Heather got a free hat.

Everyone had mostly forgotten the heat now and were eagerly watching the show.  And what a show it was.  Your guess is as good as mine….

After the last float went past and I noticed I had burned through 80 percent of my batteries, we settled down to wait for the racers.  For another hour and a half. 

But, the wait was worth it, no question there. The cheering started off in the distance like some dramatic movie scene fade in effect, slowly growing until you could hardly hear your self think. 

I made ready my camera, pre-focused, and prepared to let loose.

And then they came.

And with that they were gone.  Twenty heart pumping seconds and they were lost to sight.  But, not forgotten.  Next year I think I may try and organize a party to watch the race on tv again.  No, its not as exciting, but sun burns are over rated. 

-Baroquebloke-

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