Tales from the Tour….hurrah…Mountains…kinda

Most cyclists are slightly obsessed with the mountains, doesn’t really matter what ones just so long as there is a road up and down them, it doesn’t even matter if they are suited to climbing they will still drag their arse up even if its only to go down.

The same could be said for photographers, the vistas can be just stunning

Cycling - Tour de France - Stage 18

No more trying to scrape out a scenic picture that doesn’t quite work or when you are really desperate going for the poor mans scenic of a bridge (not that i haven’t done that)

Liege Bastogne Liege 2016 102nd Edition

As excited as we should be for the first summit finish when its combined with a really short stage and a shuttle bus to the finish it actuality it meant a pretty dull day. Having spent most of the day driving to make sure we caught the shuttle, to then spent another 40 mins in a bus that was actually hotter than most saunas i have visited didn’t set me up for feeling cool and collected.

Walking the final 400m up to the finish wasn’t exactly a picnic…it was the steepest part of the climb…never felt such an urgent need for a shower, the only consolidation was that almost everyone was in the same boat, but at least the view was worth it.

IMG_2764

This kind of stage is a great illustration into how little of a race/stage some photographers see despite being lucky enough to be within the bubble of the race. For once i was a bit lucky that there was a giant screen in view of my finish line position, but if not for this i would have seen the last 30 secs of the race as they crested the climb for the last meters to the line.

With the race done it was time to head back down with all the normal joys of getting off a mountain after a tour stage, at least on the way down i was able to sit in a car with the AC on rather than sauna it up in the shuttle bus.

The hotel was definitely on the lower end of the glamours scale so it wasn’t quite the conventional twin room – double bed with a single bunk over the top.  Over a fairly average dinner my travel companion Pete magnanimously offered a game of bowling to decide who took the bunk. Not being a great bowler i didn’t old out hope of taking the win and reduce the risk of headbutting the ceiling in my sleep. All was going mediocre until Pete realised what the little lines on the lane were for…this outstanding revelation ensured him the win and double bed..Ah well, by that point i was so tired it didn’t really matter!

 

 

 

 

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