Tour de France - Bastille Day, "Le Quatorze Juillet"

Just watched the finish of today’s stage of the Tour de France, in the town of Gap.  This time not too much climbing, a few in the 1,000 metres and one in the 2,000 metres range.  Today the fellows had to cope however with Africa-like temperatures at least 36 degrees C.  

All that heat was making the tar on the roadways soft, creating a hazard for the riders. Especially on the hairpin turns down the Col du Noyer, descents where they zoom along at 75 km/hr.

I call this race the “Tour de Force”.  No matter what the weather is like:  rain, hail, fog, sometimes snow on the summits, or hot temperatures like today, the Tour goes on.

And as if completing one stage is not challenging enough, let alone all 23 stages of the full Tour, any rider who gets to the finish after a time limit set by the race organizers, is unceremoniously kicked out - eliminated!

Today there were beautiful camera views along the route of the Haute-alps, taken by the photographer in a helicopter.  The helicopter sent some horses running, accompanied by a lone donkey.  They’re now all immortalized, on today the national holiday of France, Le Quatorze Juillet. Bastille Day.

Hopefully these past couple of blog posts have stirred some appetite to tune into this magnificent sports race, which began already 103 years ago!  A bientot, Henri