The Tour: On your mark, set, camp!

Every time that my wife Jan and I encounter the Tour de France in person, we learn something new. Yesterday (Sunday), we learned that some people are very — very — serious about getting themselves in place to watch the cyclists race past.

Yesterday we were driving from home base in Daglan to Trémolat with good friends from Toronto, Keith and Kathy, to have lunch at Le Vieux Logis (about which, more later). Just outside the village of Le Buisson-de-Cadouin, the road heading west starts to climb, twisting up a long hill.

As our car climbed up, we were startled to see a camper or two parked beside the road — and then, lots of them. Have a look:

All set for the cyclists.

And here’s another group of campers:

French flags flying, of course.

And here are some campers who obviously are favouring one rider in the Tour, namely the young French cyclist Warren Barguil, who rides for Team Sunweb:

We want Warren!

Now for a bit of background, in case you’ve been wondering what all the fuss is about.

TDF in the Dordogne: The Tour has been to our département, the Dordogne, many times, but it’s not an annual occurrence. So when the route of Stage 10 was announced, it’s a big deal for towns and villages along the way. This stage of the Tour, set for tomorrow (July 11) runs for 178 kilometres, from the département capital of Périgueux to finish in Bergerac.

Getting prepared. For weeks, there have signs posted along the way, announcing that the roads will be barred to traffic. And also for weeks, all sorts of decorations have been put up in many if not most of the towns and villages — ranging from coloured ribbons and bunting, to decorated old bicycles, to  a huge model bicycle-with-rider that will greet the cyclists as they enter Lalinde.

A place to watch. In case you’re not familiar with the Tour, the reason why all the campers are perched on a hill is because a hill is a great place to watch the race. As the cyclists climb, they naturally slow down a bit, so that they are not a blur as they whizz past you. Also, by looking down a hill, you get a better view of how the pack of cyclists is forming up.

What about us? This afternoon, we are just getting set — poaching salmon, roasting beef, making salads, chilling the wine and beer. There are to be nine of us friends at our picnic, at a spot we’ve found that should give us a good view. At least, we’re hoping. We leave early tomorrow morning, to make sure we reach our intended spot before the roads are closed.

More to come in a later post, once we’ve seen the cyclists.





This entry was posted in Bicycling in the Dordogne, Camping in the Dordogne, Festivals in France, Life in southwest France, Sports, Sports in the Dordogne and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to The Tour: On your mark, set, camp!

  1. Linda Rayburn says:

    We watch le Tour every year to learn about new places to discover in France. So happy to see it come through the beautiful Dordogne area. Looking forward to our visit back in September! Please keep posting the “behind the scenes” look at Le Tour

  2. loren24250 says:

    Thanks for your comment, Linda. Glad you enjoyed the posting. Do have a great time here in September!

  3. Celia West says:

    Have a great day. We’ll look out for you on the televison as we get full coverage of the stage in England. We are just back from Daglan and saw all the road resurfacing in Domme. Have followed TDF alll our lives and enjoy our cycling trips to Daglan area and keeping up with news from you during the year. Merci beaucoup
    Celia & Trevor

  4. Lesley says:

    I was only hoping that all the ‘roadworks’ and ‘improvements’ would be finished in time!

  5. loren24250 says:

    I’m afraid that roadworks are an ongoing part of life in the Greater Daglan Area!

  6. Vive le Tour! We will be watching the Tour from California tomorrow. As frequent visitors of the Dordogne we anxiously await the views of paysage et villages the riders pass through. Where’s Bruno??
    Enjoying your posts.

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