Last Sunday, LC, Bean, Steve and I went to Le Sepey – 3km down the mountain from Leysin – to watch the Tour pass through. The Caravan (a parade of cars and floats) came by about an hour and a half before the riders, handing our prizes and chalk to the spectators waiting on the side of the road. This provided almost as much excitement as the Tour itself. Bean kept herself busy doing artwork on the road – “Team TBB Was Here”, as well as a marriage proposal to Thor Hushovd. And we all came away with a few “prizes” – caps, key chains, canvas bags, candy. I worked pretty hard for the one key chain I managed to claim. It came flying towards me from one of the floats, but a man standing next to me tried to step on it with his foot. Luckily he missed so I reached down and grabbed it. Then the next thing I knew he was trying to take it out of my hand!! Hmph, I don’t think so. I held onto it like a piece of gold until he finally gave up and walked away. I am now the proud owner of a “RoadSign Australia” keychain…even though I almost ended up as roadkill trying to get it.;-)
Eventually, around 3pm, we saw the first sign of riders coming down one of the switchbacks from Les Mosses. It was pretty amazing to feel the excitement in the air – to hear the helicopters overhead, to see the lead vehicles approach and then finally the lead group of 5 cyclists with Fabian Cancellara in the lead. Then before we knew it, the Peloton flew by. Look! There’s Lance!! I took a few pics, but with all the excitement I really just wanted to watch the riders fly by.
The official Tour de France will be over on Sunday, which is when Team TBB’s own TDF ’09 starts…a 2 day bike to Alp D’Huez to race the Alp D’Huez Triathlon next Wednesday and then our return bike ride back to Leysin. Can’t wait!