Despite some hiccups in our plans, we managed to make it to Paris in time for the final leg of the Tour de France, one of the few distinct events on our combined bucket list. We waited for what seemed like hours in the blistering heat on the Champs Elysée, gradually elbowing our way to the front, and it was totally worth it!
Even the parade of advertising floats (the original Raison d’etre of the Tour de France) was great fun. I found it quite entertaining that everyone on a float had a really industrial sized harness on, and wondered how many promo girls fell off before that became the norm.
And then of course the cyclists. They came whizzing by unbelievably quickly! Not to worry though, as they did 8 laps. Would have been all very anti-climactic to wait there for 2 hours just for 3 seconds of action. There was also a great buzz around the area afterward, with temporary bar/restaurant areas set up. We attempted to get close to the prize giving, but it seemed they roped off so much of the surrounding area you couldn’t even get close to seeing what street it was on.
We were also lucky to be directly in front of the action when this guy needed to change his tire. Never have I seen a car screech to a halt so quickly, and amazingly he had a new tire and was back in the race in less than 5 seconds!
Few things beat being able to say you have stood on the Champs Elysée watching the final leg of the Tour de France!