M+M at the Flame Rouge (1K To Go Banner) - Stage 16 TdF (Pau, FR)

M+M at the Flame Rouge (1K To Go Banner) - Stage 16 TdF (Pau, FR)


You got two (2) posts on 7/19, so you had to wait an extra day for 7/20.  Our apologies…but we have been quite busy!

Tuesday a.m. started quite early as we travelled from Marseille to Pau.  Although it was a rather long drive (approx 5.5 hrs), it was ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS!  For those of you who have seen stories about the TdF, you have most likely seen pictures of the beautiful sunflowers.  Well…we can attest that those pictures are not photoshopped!  As we drove through the Provence region, we went through 20+ sunflower fields…all of them bright (bright!!) yellow.   The sunflowers were then followed by numerous castles (some HUGE).  After the castles, we began our trek through the Pyrenees (with a slight detour in Toulon)…and saw a few of the TdF team cars heading in the same direction.  For a long drive, it was most enjoyable.

Upon arriving in Pau, we met up with our Spyns tour group.  After checking in and grabbing lunch, we walked the last 4K of the Stage 16 route that finished in Pau.  It was neat to see all of the barriers and flame rouge (1K To Go banner).  We walked through the finishing area, but did not stay too long as it was getting rather crazy…2 hrs before the riders were to arrive!  We decided to position ourselves at the 1K To Go mark.  Many of the initial team cars came through and then came the traveeling circus that is the TdF Caravan!  It was pretty cool as there were lots of floats, cars and schwag being tossed into the crowds.  After the caravan came the riders.  On this particular day, Lance Armstrong was “stage hunting” and had gotten himself (and teammate Chris Horner) in the breakaway.  With 1K To Go, a group of approx 8 riders came through and we, like a typical American, cheered loudly for Team Radioshack.  Unfortunately, LA was unable to pull off a sprint (not his specialty) and finished 6th on the day.  After about seven (7) minutes, the peloton came through like a freight train!  It was really cool to see this in person.

After the stage finished, we walked through the team bus area and then boarded our own bus headed for Montory, France (up in the Pyrenees).  Our lodging for Tues and Wed evening is in a rustic inn in this quaint village.  After getting settled in our rooms, a group of us went for a quasi-short ride around the area.  It was supposed to be a relatively easy 10mi ride just to get a feel for our rented bikes.  Well…shortly after leaving the inn, crowds rolled in and it got rather dark and the second half of our ride was pretty much in darkness and a thunderstorm.  Ordinarily, the lightning would have been frightening, but it was actually the only way to see the road!  A definite adventure (and b/c we lived to tell the tale…a fun one!).

We earned our dinner and a good night’s sleep!  Pictures to come…


One Response to “7.Twenty.20Ten”

  1. Annie V Says:

    Finally! I have checked like 100 times today. 🙂
    Glad you are having so much fun! Looks beautiful.

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