Well, another Tour de France has come and gone and I was lucky enough to be in Paris for the final stage of the rigorous bike competition. It was fun to join the huge crowd waiting to see the cyclists make their final few laps around the Champs-Élysées (a fancy shmancy shopping street...think Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Dior, etc.). And when I say huge crowds...I mean huge:
There was a sea of people that surrounded the streets, literally it went on for miles. My friends and I were pretty close to the action though with only one row of people between us and the street so we were able to see a lot. We got there pretty early because we weren't sure how busy it would be or how soon the cyclists would be in the heart of Paris - and we ended up waiting for a good four hours. We could see on a huge screen that they were on their way, but it just seemed like it was taking forever. But, who am I to complain after these guys have spent the last three weeks biking up, down and all around the country?! By the time they reached Paris, they had been on their bikes for three weeks (with only two days of rest) covering 2,200 miles - I could definitely hang around for four hours to see them finish. Here is this year's path:
This was Lance Armstrong's final Tour de France and he let some Spanish guy named Alberto Contador take the win this year. It would have been fun to see him win one last time...maybe he'll come out of retirement (again) and give it another whirl. I will definitely go try and see it again next year! Here is a picture - basically a blur of jerseys and bikes...
And here's a little video: