Tour de Chalabre

Yesterday was the big day and I have to admit it was a blast.

First, we staked out a much better position than we had two years ago. Instead of standing right at the end of Cours Colbert watching as they came over the bridge, we were on Cours Sully so we saw them as they took the turn. It enabled us to see them a little better and it allowed us to sit in the shade, which is a major consideration when you’re outside in July for a couple of hours.

The majority of people were on the Cours Reynaud at either the café or the Hotel de France, so our area wasn’t super crowded, which was great for those of us trying to score “swag”

"Official" merchandise for sale

First these guys came by selling stuff, but we wanted the freebies that came later.

Credit Lyonnais, an official Sponsor

JM scored a great baseball cap from CL Considering that he used to work for them, he figured he even deserved it!

No idea who these people are.

Some of the cool things came by and didn’t throw stuff, but we enjoyed seeing them anyway.

Another Yeti

I love this little guy and would like one to drive around town.

This one was throwing candy

I would have liked to see this one make a narrow turn

Too bad they weren’t throwing out samples, since they’re from the Caisse d’Epargne, which is a bank!!

Really crackers!

Everyone was happy to get the samples from these guys, because it was lunchtime and we were all hungry!

Unfortunately, my camera battery was low, so I missed a few of the really outrageous Swagmobiles, including one with some very good looking, semi-naked men on it! The were selling detergent, and I am still trying to figure out a: what that had to do with the Tour de France and b: what that had to do with detergent!

Anyway, the Caravan, as it is called, lasted for about 45 minutes, then there was about a 45 minute break, which was perfect timing for us to go  home to grab a quick bite to eat, charge up the camera and get back in time for the main event. Those of you who have been reading me for long enough know that two years ago when the Tour came through town, JM missed the actual race because at the last minute my mom decided she needed to go up to the bathroom and before he could get her out of the house, the bikes went by and it was over! This year we told her if she wanted to come and see it, she could walk over herself. But she decided not to bother, so we were in prime position in plenty of time.

One of the people sitting near us was listening to the radio and he was able to tell us where they were, so we could get into position in plenty of time. There was a break away of about five riders who were 10 minutes ahead of the main peloton.

Then, as predicted, 10 minutes later the rest of the gang roared through:

And, that was it. It was all over until the next time they come to town. Maybe you can be here to see it for yourselves.

Ciao for now!

Randy (off to fight over the swag with JM)

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7 thoughts on “Tour de Chalabre

  1. Love that last picture. I’ve been waiting for your report. But I had no idea they did all the commercial stuff beforehand.

    What’s the leading car with all the bikes on top? And ahead of the pack, I assume. Is that for instant road repairs?

  2. Damned if I know, MG. It just says “Velo” on it, which means “Bikes,” so it’s pretty generic.

    Yes, the commercial swag stuff is a huge part of it. To be honest, my guess is half the people who come out do it to get the goodies!

  3. The Yeti is the mascot for Skoda and also the newest model vehicle for Skoda. Skoda seems to be one of the sponsors of the Tour which sort of all makes sense–the car is sort of a SUV -go anywhere vehicle. Wonder if the people who chose the name know the creature is known for being very badsmelling…
    I guess they’re supplying Yetis for Tour support work.
    I thought I heard one of those horrible horns vuz-something from South Africa in the background. I hope they don’t become popular in France.

  4. You DID hear a vuz-a-ma-whatsit, Lynda! Someone was blowing away, so they have definitely made their way out of Africa!!!

    Thanks for solving the Yeti riddle. I knew about Skoda being a sponsor, but know nothing about cars, so the Yeti reference was totally lost on me. I record all television and watch without commercials, so miss all kinds of things.

    Calling the car a Yeti reminds me of when Volkswagon came out with the Rabbit. They discovered that calling it that did not have the effect that they wanted (FAST) and instead made it seem cowardly! So it became the GOLF, which kind of seemed silly to me.

  5. I used to have a Rabbit and knew the salesman fairly well. He said the change to Golf was to continue the wind symbology they started with the Scirroco…..
    about the rabbit….having raised them, they’re also known for their…ah…start fast finish fast…mating skills. I had bought a buck and when asked why he was named Zipper, the woman told me, ‘you’ll find out’. The Rabbit lasted a long time…over 12 years..of course there were no offspring.

  6. Good job. It looks like you really went to a lot of trouble to get those shots. We didn’t get any television coverage of the race, so this is all I got to see.

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