Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Finish in Bourg-Saint-Maurice

Don't worry. I'm not going to say anything about the actual stage, so
no spoilers for those that haven't watched yet today.

It was amazing to be in the finishing town today. We finished our ride
a few hours before the Tour finish so we went out to lunch and then
headed down to stake out our spot. With a bit of elbowing I managed to
get right on the barriers at the 100m to go point right after the
final turn. There couldn't be a better spot. The only down side was
that we had to stand there for over an hour in blistering sun and 90+
degree heat, but it was worth it. The big screen TV was right in front
of us, so it was easy to follow what was happening on the road. As the
riders closed in on 10k, 5k, 3k, and 2k the intensity kept doubling.

As the Tour came racing through I managed to get video and several
pictures (I'll post tomorrow so as to not give anything away). Over
the years I have watched and read a lot about the pro tour teams and
their riders, but I was still completely amazed by how fast they were
going at the finish. After a very long and hot day of climbing, they
were still absolutely flying a the end. The TV just doesn't do it
justice. Very cool and very intense.

Once the first several groups came in we headed for the team bus area.
It's surprising how accessible everything is. Yes, it's hard to get to
Lance, but I was within a foot or two of George, Cancellara, Johan,
Andy Schleck, Cav, Farrar, Wiggo, Popo, and countless other riders. We
hung out by the Astana bus for a while and got in on an interview with
Johan Brunyl. We were litterally standing side by side with the
interviewers and could have asked questions of our own if we wanted.

I'm on the bus now headed back to the hotel. It's been a long, hot day
and I'm looking forward to a shower, dinner, and bed. Tomorrow will be
an even longer day both for me and for the tour. We'll be riding the
second half of tomorrow's stage which is long and steep. I think
tomorrow we could see a little more change in the GC standings.

That's all for now. Pictures coming soon.


  1. You describe it so well I can feel your excitement! And I am not even a Tour fan!....but so happy for you that you get to be there. Take good care of yourself. love, Mom

  2. Great shots, Ryan. Good luck on the climb today--