Tour de France: Who’s the Winner?

Today is the final day of the Tour de France 2016 and it looks like it’s another win for Chris Froome of Team Sky. He’s been in the yellow jersey for a while now and the last day is usually a formality when the time gap between 1st and 2nd place is as much as 4 minutes. Baring a total disaster like a big crash, Froome should come home again with the trophy. His third since 2013.

Le Tour 2016

2016 TDF map 608

Here are some more of my photos from stages 1, 2 and 3 of this year’s Tour as it passed through Normandy.

The Caravan

Le Maillot jaune & Lion

LCL (formally Credit Lyonnais – bank) are the main sponsors so their cars come along first as the ‘caravan’ passes along the route approximately 1.5 hours ahead of the riders.Peloton 1 Day 1

The Peloton

The peloton is the term for the main bulk of riders and very often they pass you in a flash if you’re watching the Tour on a flat or downhill part of the route.

They’re doing 45+kph so it can also be difficult to get an in-focus shot when they’re coming towards you!

This was taken on day 1 (stage 1, on July 2nd) at about km25 from the start at Mont St Michel, in the village of Genets, on the Manche peninsular in Normandy.

Catching a Famous Face!

Sometimes luck (and the riders you’re looking for) are on your side (of the road). Here’s one I caught ‘by accident’ of Mark Cavendish in the Green points jersey having a chat with Geraint Thomas of Team Sky.

This was in Villedieu-les-Poeles, stage 3 on July 4th.

Mark Cav & Geraint Thomas

And a Famous Backside 🙂

Cav's Bum 608

This photo was taken at the start of the sprint to the line on Stage 1 at Utah beach. Mark Cavandish, wearing 101 took the stage win to put him in the yellow jersey for the first time in his career.

Froomey's Bum 608

On looking at my photos later on, I noticed that I also caught Chris Froome on the same day a few seconds later. He wears number 1 as he was last year’s winner.

And while we’re waiting

Tatti in the yellow jerseyAs I mentioned earlier, there’s a 90 minute or more gap between the caravan of sponsors passing and the riders, so plenty of time to check out the ‘cadeaux’ you’ve secured from the caravan and dress up the dog in her very own yellow bandana.

I think it’s so funny that the French call them cadeaux… to me they’re the freebies 🙂

My favourite freebie of the Tour is my coveted King of the Mountains spotty shopping bag from Carrefour which I secured on a drizzly day 2 in Domjean.

It’s not finished yet!

There could still be some interesting tactics going on today for 2nd and 3rd place, as there are currently only 16 seconds between Romain Bardet in second place and Nairo Quintana in third. Adam Yates, the leader in the white jersey competition (youngest rider) is currently 4th at 21 seconds behind Quintana, so he also has a reason to try a break away.

I can’t wait to see what happens. It’s all very exciting…but not at exciting as the first Tour de France I ever watched (in real life) in 1989…

Wielrennen-cycling-Archief-Archive-foto-picture- Greg Lemond, Laurent Fignon en Pedro Delgado - foto Cor Vos ©2004

Wielrennen-cycling-Archief-Archive-foto-picture- Greg Lemond, Laurent Fignon en Pedro Delgado – foto Cor Vos ©2004

That was the year that Greg Lemond won the Tour by just 8 seconds over Laurent Fignon in a final stage Time Trial that had everyone on the Champs Elysees (me included) on their tip toes to see what was happening!  Photo taken from Cycling Weekly’s account of ‘The Greatest Tour de France Ever‘.

In 1989, a friend and I decided to have a cycling holiday in the Alps, specifically to watch the Tour and to follow part of the route (as you do…), before travelling back to Paris, bikes and all, to see the final stage.

Shona on Tour 1989

Here I am, slowly pedalling up Alpe d’Huez. All I remember was the 21 hair pin bends to the top and counting them down….

Happy memories from 1989 and 2016 🙂

PS, the friend I was with in 1989 is in a grandstand on the Champs Elysees today! Jealous… moi???

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8 Responses to Tour de France: Who’s the Winner?
  1. Cat Michaels
    July 24, 2016 | 5:03 pm

    What great images and a welcome change to read about good news happening in our world, Shona -:D

  2. Mike Gardner is The Time Doctor
    July 24, 2016 | 7:44 pm

    Chris Froome is a machine, lance armstrong could learn a thing or two from him

    • Shona Easton
      July 25, 2016 | 5:00 pm

      Grrr, when I think of Lance Armstrong. Cheating his way to 7 TDF wins 🙁 At least it’s out in the open now and things have really cleaned up in cycling.

  3. Susan Marot
    July 24, 2016 | 8:31 pm

    I didn’t realise that there was so much going on. I just thought you saw a few bike whizz by and that was it! Lovely story Shona!

  4. Sherry Bevan
    July 24, 2016 | 9:01 pm

    Bravo for getting up the Alpe d’Huez. We’ve had a few cycling holidays in France. Once cycled from Bordeaux to Barcelona – that was an amazing experience, especially the overnight stay at Montserrat.

    • Shona Easton
      July 25, 2016 | 4:57 pm

      Ooh, Bordeaux to Barcelona sounds amazing. Must have been hot if it was in the summer! I did Norwich to Bordeaux once (not quite so glamorous sounding!)