Sunday, July 17, 2011

Now You See 'Em....Now You Don't

Here, I am today posting again. This post is done by Madeleine about Le Tour de France. The photo above is my family and a few of the others waiting and watching. The reason why we are dressed up in coats and many heavy layers is because the weather is quite cold and rainy, despite the fact that it is July 17th.

Our plan was to go to St. Hilaire, northeast of Limoux, but the gendarmes must have barricaded the road shortly before we arrived. How were we supposed to know that? So, of course we had to know if the gendarmes would somehow let us through. All of us couldn't go ask at once because the gendarmes were behind the barrier. So we sent out my mother to ask the gendarmes if we could get through the barrier to reach the road to get to St. Hilaire. My mother was told a swift and strict NO, no madam, c'est fin!!!

Here I am wearing an Etap Hotel hat that is basically the same as a Survivor "buff" (for the non-Yanks, Survivor is a reality TV show). The end is tied off into a knot. It is one of the many promotional items thrown out of the publicite caravans.

This funny vehicle is a promotional caravan that St. Michel, the company that manufactures madeleines (not your blog author). Madeleines are sugary, buttery and soft cookies that I think taste delicious. There were many amusing caravans like this one that went by at a rapid pace, throwing out items for the public's entertainment. The promotional vehicles came by about an hour before the actual riders of Le Tour de France wizzed by.

Here's my loot for which I had to compete with the two French ladies next to us (the Heineken coaster was already on the table). Except I had an advantage---anything that went into the ditch below us I could get to first.

Several hours after we arrived, four helicopters alerted us that Le Tour de France was finally coming. The breakaway pack flew by faster than lightning could strike. Two minutes and 15 seconds later the peleton flashed by. Thomas Voeckler, wearing the yellow jersey, is surrounded by his EuropeCar teammates. As of this time, he is the overall leader of Le Tour de France, and just happens to be French.

We were all so surprised about how fast Le Tour de France riders biked by. We were all wondering "Is it over? Is it over?!" When we truly realized that it was over, everybody almost simultaneously flooded out at the same time. If you look at this photo, you can see that everyone one is crawling towards their cars; but our car was aways away. After we got to our car and reached the motorway, we were able to wiz by like the bikers in Le Tour de France.


Aunt Peggy said...

When we watched le Tour, we watched for an eleven year old kid wrestling with two old French ladies for a Survivor buff. Unfortunately, they kept panning the camera back to the pelaton and Thomas Voekler. Anyhow, glad you had fun and I can't wait to see your loot.

Anonymous said...

Madeleine, thanks for your great report. When I went to watch the race a couple of years ago I had the misfortune to be standing next to two little boys who, like you, grabbed all the goodies before I had a chance. All I got was a pathetic Skoda sun hat and I had to BEG one of the boys for it because he already had two. It was great to see you in LĂ©ran. Julian