dimanche, juillet 23, 2006

Tour de France 2006

The Tour de France 2006 concluded late this afternoon. Floyd Landis won with a smart, courageous effort. Leslie and I watched the day's quasi-ceremonial stage get started in the Paris suburbs from our perch on the sofa facing the tube. We had about three hours to get down to a good spot to watch the racers on their last laps on the Champs Elysées. We mosied along the rue Jacob, where we have enjoyed earlier holiday stays at the Hotel Millesime and Hotel des Marrionniers and then along its extension onto the “rue loo” as Julia Childs referred to the rue de l’Université on which she lived for a time. Heading vaguely in the direction of the Eiffel Tower, we edged over to the Seine. We crossed to the right bank on the Pont Alexander and walked along the Cours Albert 1er to what looked like a pleasant vantage point and sat down on a bench to wait. It was cool under the chestnut trees, and I fell asleep briefly. Eventually, the lead motorcade blared the news: the Tour is coming! Zoom! One hundred and twenty or thirty of the however many original riders surged into view! I wasn’t sure whether to shout out or to take pictures. Then they were gone. We walked urgently up to the rond-point midway along the Champs between the Place de la Concorde and the Arc de Triomphe/Etoile. Thick crowd here, lots of TV equipment and an announcer’s voice calling the race from somewhere. Now the racers are more spread out and they whiz by in a narrower file. Up and back they fly. We watch a few passes and figure we’ve done our part. We get back on foot to the apartment in time to hear the TV announce that Landis has indeed won. We’ll listen to more reports later to see how the other classifications turned out.


Blogger Tang-n-tea said...

Hi, Hunter & Leslie. What beautiful pix, and your usual thoughtful prose. What fun! Hunter, Scott Gates sends his best. I'll send him your blog address and here's his e-mail: sgates@co.ba.md.us. I wasn't sure what your preferred e-mail address is these days, so please let us both know.

8:54 PM  

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