We slept until 8:30 this morning, packed up, checked out and headed to Revel for the start of stage 14.
The morning rush to get cars, gear and bikes ready for the day.
Sunflowers on the way to Revel
We parked in the same area of town as yesterday, then walked over to the staging area to see what was happening. The town was very crowded. We had hoped to visit the Tour de France Start Village, but it turned out to be a VIP area. Annoying.
The team buses started pulling into the staging area, so we did a slow perimeter walk to check out the action. At other races you can walk right up to the buses and watch the teams warm up. For the Tour it is in a fenced area where only VIP's can visit. Once again, a bit annoying.
Brandon tries to check out the action in the staging area.
Lots of fanfare going on all around us
Team Columbia arrives
Team Quickstep arrives
Team Radioshack Trek Madones
We were able to see many teams arrive as we moved around the staging area. We ended up near the Radioshack bus where we met a couple from Australia who were doing an organized tour of the TdF route. Their trip sounded great. I think the group consisted of about 24 people, mostly Aussies.
Brandon and I continued on toward the sign-in stage. Each day the racers must sign in for the days stage.
The start line
From there we headed to the edge of town, only a few blocks away, to find a spot for race watching. We found a pretty good spot on the first corner and waited. It wasn't long before support vehicles, motorcyles with photographers and cameramen, and VIP cars started rolling down the course.
This was followed by the course cars and the peleton slowly rolling out of town. The crowds were several deep for the first three blocks or so. We were able to have great views. Then, quicker than it all began, the race was gone and heading to the Pyrenees.
We walked back to our car and we were gone, off on our long drive home. The GPS had us following the course for several kilometers before we got on the highway and headed west.
Once again, Brandon did an excellent job. Instead of the mountain route, this time we took the coastal route along such famous places as St Tropez, Cannes, Nice, and Monaco before heading north to Milan. We arrived home at 11pm after 9 1/2 hours of driving.