FanPost

Paris-Nice Trip Report

A quick trip report:

The final climbs of Stage five finished in the scenic hills near St. Etienne, and my friend Philippe invited me to come ride in his backyard.

My first ride of the year without snow: wow, heat wave. Philippe's bike seemed fully loaded. Could there be beer for lunch?

French lesson: those are not panniers. Use "sacoche" or be ridiculed.

Dsc01188_-_version_2_medium

The plan was to watch near St. Catherine with the last categorised two climbs ending in the area. On the way, we climbed Col de la Gachet to visit the Andrei Kivilev monument. Kivilev tragically died during Paris-Nice in 2003 near here. His death was the trigger for the UCI making helmets compulsory. As a junior Kivilev had ridden for EC St. Etienne - he was thus in some ways a local boy. Very sad.

Andrew_kivilev_monument_medium

The stage route had a loop near the end that would allow us to see the peloton pass twice. We were slightly disorganised after a leisurely lunch and couldn't figure out where the KOM line was for the first pass. Gendarmes told us to get off our bikes so we waited on the edge of St. Catherine and soon the riders came flying buy.

Chava(?) and the escape:

Dsc01073_-_version_2_medium

The chasers and yellow (I forgot to bring a Welsh flag) :

Dsc01079_-_version_2_medium

Nice France kit:

Dsc01081_-_version_2_medium

Wow, they flew down curvy roads (I was desperately searching for Jérôme):

Dsc01098_-_version_2_medium

After the broom wagon passed, we followed a bunch of other biking fans to find the top of the final climb. Here we found a little bit of a crowd. I am a big fan of these circuit courses that allow multiple viewing opportunities:

Dsc01111_-_version_2_medium

While the peloton was tightly packed the first time they passed us, things obviously exploded on the last ascent and riders where all over the place. I had "focus" issues as the leaders flew by so I won't bore you with fuzzy shots of Chava gasping, and Betancur flying.

It is always strange to see the Polka Dot jersey (Agnoli) miles back at a KOM checkpoint:

Maillot_pois_medium

Well back of the leaders, we heard cheers and then saw Thomas Voeckler puffed up and ensuring he was first in a small group at the summit. Love that guy! :)

Dsc01156_-_version_2_medium

As usual when watching a race, we had no clue who won, or what was really going on. But we had a lot of fun.

Unsurprisingly Belgian's everywhere:

Dsc01160_-_version_2_medium

Oh, and in case you were wondering, the sacoche was indeed filled with Beer. Tchin, tchin, et merci beaucoup Philippe.

13143316103_f034d25e01_n_medium

via farm8.staticflickr.com

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Podium Cafe

You must be a member of Podium Cafe to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Podium Cafe. You should read them.

Join Podium Cafe

You must be a member of Podium Cafe to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Podium Cafe. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.