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I’ve put together this post in the hope that you’ll be able to use it next year. Actually, it’s something I’m not just hoping for, I am practically praying for it (though I will admit, I’m not the religious type).
I imagine you can guess why. If a road-side Tour guide is helpful, well, that means the Tour is back to normal. This is a guide, a how-to, a “shoddy” infomercial on the best way of catching a stage of the Tour on two wheels.
This year started like stage one of the Tour when it rolled out of Nice. It looked pretty normal, a nice sunny day, we knew what we in store for but BOOM out of nowhere, the heavens opened, and all hell broke loose. It turned it into a monster, something we definitely didn’t expect. Next year has got to be better right!? It’s got to be a year where standing roadside hollering at the peloton as they dash past isn’t a situation where they’re at risk of an unseen danger. I hope the only dangers on the roadside in 2021 and beyond are the usual wild fan dressed inappropriately as Borat, who after attempting to run alongside their hero (drunk) is then grabbed spectacularly by a gendarme, wrestled to the ground and made a fool of in an amusing moment of international televisual delight.
Either way, if its 2021 or the years that follow I hope you bookmark this article for when we can eventually all get back to the grass verges and pavements of France for the uniqueness and excitement of watching our favourite sport up close.
Phil, Abby and I were lucky enough to be at the start of this year’s Tour in Nice. It was unsurprisingly an odd one. Usually, we’d cover the whole race, we’d be up close and personal with the riders, the fans and the entourage, we’d be part of the traveling circus. This year we attempted to get what we could under the conditions that were in place while steering clear of pretty much anyone and everyone involved in the race.
To achieve this, we thought it best that we spend a day out on the bikes, amongst the rolling, twisting, green hillsides of the Cote d’Azur. Obviously, we had to find an excuse to do this, as it turned out that wasn’t too hard. After racking our brains for all of 20 seconds, we came to the conclusion of attempting to bring you, good readers, this guide.
It was a tough assignment, one where we made sure we didn’t skip any corners, not uphill ones or downhill ones. We made sure we ate well (we didn’t want to get the hunger knock), we made sure we got the good scenic shots, and above all, we made sure that the peloton knew that there was at least a few fans (at a safe social distance) cheering them on.
So go on, delve into the video. Learn the tricks of the trade, get the lowdown on how to catch a Tour stage by bike…kinda!