Posts Tagged ‘Cadel Evans’

Ohhhh the Champs Elysées

Monday, July 25th, 2011

J’adore Paris et le Tour. What a great afternoon! At 1.30pm, Tom and I met my ex-school friend, Pippin, and his girlfriend near the Champs Elysées and headed down to find a spot to watch the riders come in on the last leg of the Tour de France. I was expecting madness but all I found was “slightly busier than normal”. As a result, we managed to plant ourselves at the end of the VIP tents, right near the finishing line, but standing in mud piles with the rest of the average folk. No tiered seating for us.

Tour de France

Not a bad view apart from the annoying police folk who decided to stand in the way

We had to wait for a while. The riders didn’t hit the Champs Elysées until after 4pm so in the mean time we watched a parade of trucks and vans covered in sponsors’ logos and with tight-tshirted girls dancing and waving to the crowd. Now that’s entertainment. I must say the truck advertising laundry detergent with two six-packed men who were only wearing their red underwear was probably my favourite.

Baguette mobile

A baguette a day makes you ride like Cadel

The crowd was full of non-french people who had clearly come from far and wide to be there. It was a nice group of people and I only saw two drunken idiots, both of whom were escorted away by some of the many police officers standing around. When the riders finally arrived the crowd cheered and applauded and it was a vibrant and happy atmosphere. There was a very strong Australian support group who were surprisingly well behaved and oh-so-proud of Cadel.

Tour de France

Spot Cadel on the left of this photo, next to the policeman's cap

I have wanted to be on the Champs Elysées for the end of the Tour for many years now and it was such a great experience to have been part of. We chose a great place to stand as at the end of the race the award stage was pulled out and positioned within our view and we could watch Cadel being announced as the winner.

Tour de France podium

Cadel is the winner!

Sadly I didn’t get to see Jens Voigt but I felt good knowing he was within a few hundred metres of me. He’s so cool.

For photos and videos of my time at the Tour de France, and to hear Tina Arena sing the National Anthem (yes… that was depressing), head to my Flickr site.

Le Tour est Ici

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

I’m so excited! For years I have wanted to stand on the Champs Elysées to watch the arrival of the Tour de France riders on the last day of Le Tour. THE DAY HAS COME! And to make matters even more exciting, Cadel Evans, Australian biking hero (according to Tony Abbott), is going to win. I suspect there will be a few screaming Australians standing on the road side today but instead of screwing up my nose at them like I normally would, I might join in and cheer on the riders.

To be honest I haven’t been watching the tour this year for two reasons:

  1. I’ve been busy
  2. The coverage is on during the day, instead of the easy post-dinner viewing time that we get in Australia. It’s much easier to watch it in Perth!

I only discovered last night that Cadel was going to win – I knew he was in the top three but I then automatically assumed a Schleck would come and take over. So may aim for today is to get as close to the Champs Elysée as possible, as close to the finish line as possible, and as close to Jens Voigt as possible. He’s hilarious.