The Extraordinary Tour de France.

Crowds of smiling, happy people lined the streets of Perigueux last Tuesday to greet the start of stage 10 of the Tour de France through Sarlat and on to Bergerac. It was just what Paul and I needed to lighten the mood after we had just received some upsetting news. It lifted our spirits so much so that we began to focus on the positive rather than the negative.

So here are just a few of the many pictures taken last Tuesday.

Sky team bus

 
The amazing Sky team being presented to an appreciative audience.

 
Cheers for Chris Froome and the team.

 
TV interview with the King of the Mountains.

 
Riders looking relaxed and having a chat before the start of the race.
 

And off they go.

Second later all the riders were gone, having started on a 178km tour of one of the most beautiful parts of France
 

So over to our roving camera crew Sherry and Angus who took these brilliant pictures. Thank you so much.

The Caravan runs through Beynac.

 
Wow, brilliant

 

 
They look happy to be here, and who wouldn’t be enjoying the spectacular scenery of the Dordogne valley. Good luck guys.

 
“Come on Chris Froome”… Just a little bias there,

 
The Perigord will bring a smile to your faces too.

 
 
Event:- 14th July – Fête National, all across France.

 
 

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The Tour de France

We had never seen the Tour de France live before so with it passing through the Perigord it was a chance that we could not miss. The day started off badly with the forecast stating that a storm was due. Being in a positive mood I made a picnic hamper! The storm hit on route to Monbazillac and what a storm it was thunder, lightning, torrential rain. We could just see the car in front of us. As I said, being in a positive mood we carried on thinking that the storm would pass by in time for riders. Oh contraire, the storm did stop for about an hour then it started again, stronger and more violent than before. However, this did not put us off, we stayed for the race, and four hours of waiting in the storm was worth it just to see the riders pass by.

We arrived at Monbazillac and parked in a soaked piece of land between two vineyards and ate our picnic, while watching the thunder and lightning getting nearer and nearer. Guess who had only sandals on her feet that day?

Our arrival at Monbazillac

Our arrival at Monbazillac

The sea of yellow was amazing; we got hats, t-shirts, umbrellas, pens etc
Waiting for so long we became friends with the people next to us on either side, sharing umbrellas, sweets etc.

First was the junior race, the rider in front went back for the second rider to help him to finish the race.

the junior race

the junior race

Then came the time that everyone was waiting for, the caravan. This is a series of cars and floats who speed pass throwing sweets, cakes, hats, drinks, toys etc.

The start of the caravan

The start of the caravan

The caravan was an amazing sight, you can just see the very large rider in a yellow jersey on top of the car.

the first yellow jersey

the first yellow jersey

Everyone cheered; we put our hands up for the sweets but missed this time.

meet Micky

meet Micky

Somewhere inside the fruit shoot is a car

fruit shoot on wheels

fruit shoot on wheels

When the junior bike riders and caravan had driven past we had to wait for about an hour or so. Then the the crowed cheered loudly because we could all hear the helicopter over our heads, the race was here. These are the first riders, it was so exciting, people shouted, banged on the side of the barrier, some people called out the names of the riders while others just stood in awe. It was great and truly a sight worth waiting for.

These are the leaders

These are the leaders

This is the peloton, the pain on the rider’s faces as they fought to finish the stage. They had come so far, endured every type of weather and physical and mental torture, they were truly awe inspiring.

the peloton

the peloton

Would I do it again? Yes, yes, and yes but next time I must remember to pack my Wellington boots.