9. Tour de France – Day 1


We were due in Hannover by nightfall – but JB had another agenda.  He had us up by 5:00am (We’re on holiday – ferchrissake!) and at Obernai (25km South of Strasbourg) by 6:30.  The traffic was already building – and he knew if we had left it any later it would have been impossible.  By 7:00am he had us in place – in the starting enclosure – brilliant position!  And the crowd gathered all around us…


When you carry a camera – story telling is easy…

And there’s always something or somebody that catches the eye!  Then came the famous Caravane Publicitaire du Tour de France…



2o km long – 200 decorated vehicles – takes 45 minutes to pass – and travels the entire route – about 30 minutes ahead of the race.  43 brands (and growing every year) – they hand out around 15 million sample packs!  We didn’t have to buy coffee for several days.

And then came the cyclists… Each one climbing the podium and signing in to start (each stage).  Both Robbie McEwen and Cadel Evans saw Carla’s Australian flag – and came over to sign autographs…

JB’s was not bored – I suspect he’s dreaming…

The Start warning is called…

The Crowd surges forward – and so does Carla…

Our ‘face in the crowd’ appears again…

And they’re away…

Now – all we’ve got to do is get him away from all this…

Oh, all right then – just one last picture…

They must have enjoyed themselves – they let me drive – and JB’s on the camera!  He HATES cameras!


On into Germany – and home to Hannover… read on…

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