Le Tour de France


We had the Tour de France come near by, so we went to see the excitement on the D909A, just before they went into Hérépian. We had no idea that the Promotional Parade was more exciting than the actual race itself. The parade of vehicles comes by about an hour before the bikes. It consist of Gendarmerie (pronounced "Jgahn-Dahm" they are the French National Police), then you see some plain cars of various support & officials, then come the vehicles that are done up like floats or just painted with company logos & names.
The floats, cars, trucks & vans with things attached or painted up, pass by with music blasting out. As they pass by, people are throwing out items to the crowds. I only got photos of some of the floats & cars. There were about 60 floats & cars.
We were very lucky to get a wide spot in the road that we shared with a young couple & an old man. When we got duplicate items that they missed out on, we gave them some & they did the same for us, so we all got about the same items.
Before the parade, the old man had said something about helicopters & pointed towards the town (or so I thought). As the parade started to come, 7 helicopters came around the mountain & landed in the field, cleared out of a vineyard, right next to us. The old man must have known about them & was trying to tell us that they would land where we were. The helicopters were all carrying officials of the race & were had them all around us. 2 helicopters refueled from a truck down in the field. After taking a photo of the helicopters, my batteries died & I missed the opportunity to photo the bikes.
The parade took about an hour to pass & the bikes went by in about 15 seconds. What an interesting site to see. This is well worth seeing live, if you ever get the chance.

 
Crédit Lyonnais
Le Crédit Lyonnais gave us a cloth shopping bag.
Disney Land Paris
Disney Land Paris gave us a comic book.
Skoda
Skoda gave us hats.
Team support vehicles with bikes
Team support vehicles with bikes.
Simpsons
Simpsons gave us a Bart mask & a Maggie mask.
Etap Hotels
Etap Hotels did not give anything.
Xtra
Xtra gave us laundry soap & scenting samples.
Eurotyre
Eurotyre did not give anything.
Confédération Force Ouvrière
Confédération Force Ouvrière gave us a note pad.
Nestlé Aquarel
Nestlé Aquarel gave us bottles of water.
Bouygues Telecom
Bouygues Telecom gave us CDs for internet.
Aujourd'hui
Aujourd'hui gave us a cloth shopping bag with that days paper inside.
Festina
Festina gave us a Neon Yellow armband for night biking.
RMC
RMC gave us Bonbons, candies.
 
Helicopters
Notice the refueling truck on the right side is fueling up the bird in the back.
These guys kicked up a lot of dust & dusted the grape vines. They all left just after the bikes went by.
 
The following day I was supplied with a fresh set of batteries. We went up into the Tarn & followed the route of the bikes. We found the spirit of the race was shown very strongly in the small ville of Anglès with a population of about 600. All of their displays had the colors Blue & Yellow & were throughout the ville. I got photos of several, but there were more.
 
Bikes with Names on fence
In a very rural area, just before coming into Anglès, we came up on this site.
Bikes along the fence with names of riders below of some of them.

 
Display at entrance of Anglès
Display in Anglès, right at the entrance of the ville.
Girl on bike on a wall
Up on a wall in front of a farm.
Bikes hanging in trees
Notice the 2 bikes hanging from trees on far Left & far Right.
Le Tour ANGLÈS
The name ANGLÈS was spelled out on T-shirts.
Guy on bike on balconey
From a distance this guy looked real.
Small bike in flowers on balconey
Small bike on right among beautiful flowers.