Had a nice easy ride to Mouton and back, then as usual to the bar for coffee. The bar itself was pretty full of ‘the Brits’ so we sat in the plaza across the road and under the trees.
The town kitty was there – she’s very small and extremely friendly. At one point she saw some birds in one of the big trees and scampered up to try to get one – no luck, however.
Today we headed to just north of Aubigne to watch Stage 2 where the riders pass the feeding area. We parked in one spot, but it was very hot so ended up moving to another spot so we could get in some shade. I parked my chair right to the side of one of Astana’s cars and we watched as the fellow filled up the feed bags for his team.
We started talking with him – he’s from Italy but has been taking english lesson for 5 years and speaks it fairly well. He’s actually a physiotherapist, and used to work for Manchester City FC but couldn’t stand living there. He comes from very near Genoa and we all agreed what a tragedy the bridge collapse was. We had a good chat and he brought us each an Astana hat and bidon – without me even asking. He also offered us a drink – I declined but Colin took one – the guy said it’s a new one and that lots of the riders love them. I looked at the ingredients and the first one is water, the second sugar, artificial colour and flavour and I’m not sure what else. Colin gave me a taste and it was awful, although he seemed to like it all I could taste was the sugar and fake lemon or something.
When the racers came through I was a bit surprised by how relaxed many of them looked – smiling and chatting with each other, almost like they are at the beginning of a stage.
Since it was still early after they’d all passed we decided to scoot ahead to watch the finish at Melle. As we left the feeding area we saw that one young boy that we’d met earlier had a huge collection of discarded bidons – there must have been 10 or 12.
When we arrived in Melle we had a drink in a nice bar then walked a bit further to pick our spot. We settled ourselves on a rock wall and had a really great view – once again the riders went by twice.
And also once again we saw the lady with the small chihuahua right across the road from us. I also saw a couple of the official fellows from yesterday, and, of course, the cow.
It was another sprint finish…
Right near where we were standing on the wall there’s a memorial to a man that was killed in Dachau in 1944 – he was only 32 years old and the inscription reads that he was a victim of his patriotism.