04 July 2009

Stage 1: Lance, Levi, Christian, Alberto...

IN THE END we just played the odds and took the car to Monaco for the first stage of the Tour this afternoon. We were stopped about 2km from the route and we quickly found an illegal parking space and walked the rest of the way. No problems.
We grabbed a great spot to watch the stage -- just after the first hairpin turn on the climb out of Monaco, about 3k into the 15 km time trial. It was terrific spot because we could see the riders below us as they made the turn, then they passed right in front of on a climb up to one of the tunnels that are common in this part of the Alpes-Maritimes.

The kids just wanted to see Lance and we got the chance a couple of times -- once during the time trial, and another when he practiced taking the hairpin turn a couple of times during his warmups. Of course, all I wanted to see was the TT gear and bikes. The were incredible. The sound that those disk wheels makes is like nothing I've heard before. Here are some photos from today.
Julian Dean of Garmin Chipotle
There he is: Lance Armstrong looking strong.

No idea who this is, but how sweet is the gear and the bike?

Another strong Astana rider: Levi Leipheimer

At one point we walked up a little path to get this view.

Again, no idea, but we spent most of the time about 50 meters above this hairpin turn.

Not a bad way to spend the 4th of July!

Tomorrow's second stage will come through our village of Le Rouret. On the profile map below, Le Rouret is just after the category 4 climb (Cote de Roquefort-les-Pins) near the peak of the climb. I ride from Nice up to our house from time to time and you can't imagine how devestating it was to find out that the climb up to our house that nearly kills me every time I do it is only rated a category 4 -- the lowest climbing category in cycling. Ouch.


1 comment :

angus said...

That must have been a real treat being that close. Wish we were there! Enjoy tomorrow!!