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More from L'Alpe D'Huez

 

Better late than never, I suppose.  I just got back from France yesterday and didn't have access to a computer until today.  Anyway, I thought I'd share some of the photos I took of the now-famous Stage 17.

I stayed in a hotel in Huez-en-Oisans, roughly 5 km from the finish.  First, a couple of pictures to set the stage.  This one is from just above Virage 1.  The little village you see down there was where I stayed.

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This one is from Virage 9.

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Prior to the race, I did as Drew suggested and added my own graffiti to the slope of the Alpe.  This is just below Virage 6.

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I haven't looked for it yet on my recording of the stage, but I suspect it wasn't visible because people were crowded in pretty close when the riders went by.  I imagine, at best, you'd be able to see the "di" and "fe".  Well, I tried...

Anyway, on the day of the race, me and thousands (anyone have any idea how many of us were out there?) of my closest friends were waiting with eager anticipation.

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One way you can tell the riders are close is when you see or hear the helicopters.

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Unfortunately, I had a camera malfunction when Sastre went by.  It's my great (albeit only) regret of the trip.  Nevertheless, I managed to capture the rest of the heads of state as they went by.

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And, among others, Arvesen and Cancellara.

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And le autobus.

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(copied from video I took)

All in all, a great day, and very thrilling.  I echo Albertina in suggesting anyone who can go should go.  In fact, although I had thought of this going in as a once in a lifetime experience, I'm already thinking about going back again at some point (but first, I want to do the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.  But that probably won't come off for a few years).

The depart the next day in Le Bourg D'Oisans didn't interest me too much, so, since I had rented a car, I drove ahead to a little town called La Cote-St-Andre which was on the course for Stage 18 to get an idea of the peloton in full flight.  Once again, I managed to screw that up, but I did get a video of the two leaders some minutes ahead of the peloton.

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(copied from video)

Finally, I went up to Paris and kicked around there for a few days.  Of course, I went down to Place de la Concorde (well, near there, actually) to see the final stage.  I haven't seen much about it other than to see that Steegmans won the stage, and it appears to me from this photo he had a couple of leadout men in the last km.

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Seriously, you've got to go at some point in your life if you're a fan of this sport.

 

 


 

 


 


 


 


 

 


 

 


 

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