Had a really good night, and it finally looked like better weather. I took Mo for a walk down to the town, which is right down around the corner from where we’re parked.
It’s a lovely place, with beautiful houses, a cafe or two, a nice park, and lots of sculptures here and there, as well as a colourful war memorial.
I tried to find a place to get a newspaper but the small store wasn’t open, despite the sign that said it was open every day but Sunday at 7:00. By the time we got back to the campervan Colin was up and about so we all headed back down together for a coffee.
This is the type of place I love – just the right size with a viable town centre, but not completely overrun with tourists. There were some tents being setup on the main street for race watchers, and Colin noticed that the fancy-looking restaurant actually had at least one Michelin star.
Colin asked another person at the cafe where he’d gotten his newspaper from and was directed to the bread shop next door – not the first place we’d thought to look.
After our delicious cafe creme we walked a bit further – I went inside the large church to check out the stained glass windows, which, as usual, were so much better from the inside.
The local school kids must have had the day off for the race – there’s an area near the church where they’re displaying their artwork of bikes, flags and jerseys – it’s really cute.
Back at the campervan we setup the flags, which are so much more impressive in the sunshine with a light breeze than they were yesterday drooping in the pouring rain.
We sat on the lawn chairs in front of the campervan and watched as the racers came by on their re-con rides, as well as bunches of amateurs.
At times some of the kids were riding up at the same time as their heroes, who were generally quite relaxed – I imagine it was very inspiring for the young ones.
A large group of fans gathered at a house across the road, and proceeded to set up tables for food, as well as a banner for their cycling club. Watching the banner hanging was very entertaining – after much discussion they attached it to some trees, but it was a bit high so they proceeded to cut the lower branches off so the banner could be seen better. Personally I would have hung the banner lower to start with, but refrained from giving them that advice.
The last person to pass on the re-con round was Chris Froome, looking down at his power meter as usual. A little while later Colin told me the news that Froome had crashed on the downhill and was out of the race. Now I’ll admit that Froome has never been my favourite rider, and I can’t stand his team, but I never want to hear that a rider has crashed. As the day progressed we found out more and more – it was a very serious crash at high speed and he had to be airlifted to the hospital. Apparently he has a broken femur, broken elbow as well as some ribs – brutal indeed. I wanted him to get beaten in a race – cracking on a mountain stage or being unable to follow a competitor, but never ever would anyone be happy about a serious crash.
2 thoughts on “Beautiful Saint Alban Les Eaux”
I always say that cycling takes us to lovely places that we might not otherwise visit.
That’s so right – I’ve been to so many places to see races that I never would have visited otherwise. Many beautiful little gems just waiting to be discovered, just like St. Alban – although not discovered by too many folks or it would ruin the attraction!
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