Let's make it a week-end report...
Saturday: I was busy cuddling babies while MathieuG was drafting Grand Tour winners on the course... Next time, I'm bringing my bike !!
Lap 1: leaving my hosts after a delicious breakfast of croissants.
Lap 2: looking for a place to park on the north side of the circuit
Lap 3: Just caught the peloton passing by at the bottom of the first downhill section
Lap 4: First pictures from the middle of Côte de la Polytechnique (CdlP from here on out) (break and peloton)
Lap 5: Pics from the upper part of the CdlP. Includes decent shots of Sagan and Cadel, a Basque flag in the foreground, and a shot of the chopper that lets you know the peloton is on its way ;) Gap for the break is around 5 min.
Lap 6: Started moving towards Camilien Houde. Pics from the downhill section. They sure go by fast ! Gap still around 5 min.
Lap 7: Still climbing the backside of Mont-Royal, alongside the cemetery. More downhill shots.
Lap 8: Reached the top of Mt Royal, a few shots near the KOM line.
Lap 9: Found what and who I was looking for: a hot dog and MathieuG. Standing in the middle section of Camilien-Houde. Good pic from Jérôme Pineau leading the peloton
Lap 10: The Katusha chasse-patates: still wondering what they were trying to accomplish. Great shot of Kwiatkowski, a perfectly blurred shot of El Pistolero
Lap 11: Moved up a little bit on Camilien-Houde, Garmin hit the front of the bunch. Great shot of Chava. Might have been a bit close to the riders but after reviewing my position from the helicam on the broadcast, I think I was OK.
Lap 12: Still on Camilien-Houde, other side of the road now. Leaving MathieuG after this passage as I choose to go back to the CdlP for the end of the race. It was nice to meet another fellow PdCer, as usual !
Lap 13: A few shot from the cliff above the Camilien-Houde GPM banner. Break almost caught at the top after a dig by Wellens
Lap 14: In the Camilien-Houde downhill, bunch altogether now
Lap 15: Made it just in time for the climb of CdlP and the nice dig by Gorka Izagirre.
Lap 16: Altogether again with an attack by Wellens followed by Cunego, Bookwalter and Chavanel.
Lap 17: Sort of caught the winning move from Sagan on camera. Was too busy cheering for Vichot to hang on to the good wheels !
Overall, a very nice experience for what was my first pro race since 25 years ago for a TdF alpine stage. And the circuit experience is definitely great for the spectators, although it is weird to have to figure out the race situation every 20 min when you are used to watching on TV. I will definitely try to come back next year, and I will be bringing my bike this time !
Thanks for your time !
PS: I've tried to tag a few riders (in the metadata), feel free to help with that process if you spot your favorite rider nicely pictured. Similarly, I'm sure I got a few wrong so feel free to correct the mistakes...
PPS: As long as you credit me, feel free to use any of these images on PdC in the future. For use outside of PdC, please contact me.