Tour de France Visit
Club cyclist Finn Anderson Grout and his dad, Stephen recently took a trip Marseille to watch stages 19 and 20 of the Tour de France. It was a great opportunity to see some of the worlds greatest riders close up and especially check out the kit.
We saw Stage 19 in Salon de Provence at the 450m mark which was a fast left hand bend before the sprint to the finish. Those of you that have seen the Tour will know about the publicity caravan which precedes the riders and is a chance for sponsors to throw out freebies, it gets the crowd excited for the race. We had waited for over two hours in the hot sun and were keen for the riders to arrive.
The parade before the race is always a spectacle.
Edvald Boasson Hagen was the first rider through and went on to win the stage, he made a break around 7km out and made it stick, the Norwegians next to us celebrated his first stage win by going crazy, as well they might. Froome and Team Sky came past in formation some minutes behind the lead group at the head of the peleton looking cool and composed after such a long stage.
Edvald Boasson Hagen powers through
Froome surrounded by his team
The highlight of the tour was the individual time trial around Marseilles which really sorted out the GC. We watched the early riders in the start/finish areas before taking our seats to watch the main riders in the Orange Velodrome (which isn’t a velodrome) with the commentary, crowd and big screens, it had a great atmosphere.
As Froome and Bardet rounded the course it became obvious that Froome was having a great day as the local crowd’s hopes of a French victory melted in the afternoon heat. The magical moment was when Bardet entered the Stade, followed by Froome only metres away, having started two minutes earlier. We didn’t get a shot of this as we were too busy cheering Froomey on with our home made banner, a great result which sealed his Tour victory.
Alexander Kristoff (another Norwegian) leaves the Stade in the time trial.
Froome begins his epic ride to clinch victory.
Go Froomey Go!
Congratulations to Chris Froome on his fourth tour win, it was great to be there at the deciding stage, we are already looking forward to next year.
The only downside was that Easyjet decided to cancel our evening flight and left us stranded. Luckily we managed to catch the Eurostar on Sunday, we will be travelling by train next year!
Thank you Finn and Stephen for a great velodrome-side account and some brilliant photos!