Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Driving around the last kilometres of today's etappe of St Paul to Gap i came across the "vermin " stopping the traffic to impose their flags on the " unsuspecting public "at 8.40am ! Wearing " hazard /reflective jackets " they were just visible in the heavy rain and most thought they were official so wound their windows down and had the flags thrust in their face ! As i drove through one of them kicked the car denting the rear offside panel but as there are usually five of them i decided " safety first "! Could not find a Gendarme all the way to the centre of Gap so decided that a report elsewhere would have to suffice. No luck on the way to Briancon as there was heavy continous rain with the lightning !

Here in Briancon the sun has broken through finally mid afternoon and reading the Eurosport's early reports states the "Depart " was sunny but the racers were expected to arrive in bleak weather after riding through the storms . Driving through from Gap to Briancon i saw lots of cyclists riding towards the " Ville Arrivee " most wore light rain jackets but some were without and with no backpack one wonders how they will survive the period until the Racers arrive . Since there were so many groups it seems certain that the majority were with tour companies and thus were happy to suffer through ! Saw some standing on the side of the road laughing and chatting so those guys must have been enjoying the conditions !

Personally getting on the bike to ride in the rain no longer appeals but i will continue on a rainy ride after donning the rain jacket ! This is the first of my 14 years of the TDF that i have failed to ride the start and finish of a stage but yesterday's ride with " georgethecyclist " will i guess count for the start of today's etappe . Now the sun is out , the bike will hit the road for a circuit of the district until the TV coverage attracts my interest !

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