Post Tour de France reflexions

End of the Tour de France 2017 with my colleague Thibaut Drapier.

Our mission’s team, as was in 2016: follow the French team AG2R La Mondiale from the inside and publish daily videos telling the race’s routine.

A month on the roads, from Düsseldorf to Paris; stages with legendary names: the Planche des Belles Filles, the Galibier, the Izoard. The freshness of Liège in Belgium, the sweltering heat of Puy en Velay. The incandescence of a time trial at the Vélodrome stadium in Marseilles.

More than 100 videos were made during the 21 stages, to the rhythm of the race. Things to do: Not miss the start. Find the mythical PPO (compulsory crossing point): without it, access to the perimeter of race is impossible. Mismatched locations in the countryside, downtown arrivals, and miles of prairie. And then, on what is also the road of the holidays, we find ourselves unnervingly blocked for hours behind a Dutch motorhome. But one is always surprised by the beauty of the landscapes or simply by the popular fervour that surrounds the biggest cycling race of the world.

Our car is our home, our editing studio, our sock dryer. We spend an average of 5 hours a day in it, we will have spent 6 full days there overall.

We move in the middle of a moving circus, 5000 vehicles, the advertising caravan, an army of journalists, sponsors, “gendarmes”, with its unspoken hierarchy. Cars tagged with blue and pink (the ones that can go everywhere), those with the front, back, or out-of-race headband (do not try to understand!) And all those closed roads where we horn. The police are forcing us to run the lights, quick, quick, the race is behind, no time to dabble. No matter, anyway the road belongs to the race, everyone rolls in the same direction.

Special thanks to all the AG2R team that we followed closely, in moments expectation (Romain Bardet and his third place in 1 second) and bursts of joy (his victory in Peyragude), and the funny dinners at the evening stages.

An awesome experience.

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