Posted by: Jennifer Sage | July 12, 2008

France dresses up for the Tour

The bridge to Bonneville

The bridge to Bonneville

Many of the towns and villages and even individual commerces and homes (hotels, stores, farms) along the Tour de France route pull out all the stops and don their best clothing when the Tour rolls through. And they have a lot to be proud of! Many of the villages I’ve ridden through are some of the most beautiful in the world, with ancient churches, chateaux, ruins or central plazas, surrounded by exquisite scenery, mountains, rivers and countryside. If you’re riding some stages of the Tour, keep your camera handy and be on the lookout for creative ways the towns dress up, and don’t hesitate to stop for photos!

In the photo above of the bridge to Bonneville, they probably keep these flags up more than just for the Tour (it’s a very international location just south of Geneva), but it sure made for a beautiful photo, especially when the peleton passed over it.  

Here’s a sampling of some of the sights you might see along the Tour routes:

La Clusaz Tour de France 2004

La Clusaz Tour de France 2004

The ski resort of La Clusaz obviously took great pains to put this giant “mobile” together! You can bet the helicopters photographed that for the entire world to see! 

Tour de France 2004

Tour de France 2004

Outside of Beaufort 2007 TDF

Outside of Beaufort 2007 TDF

 

Beaufort dresses up

Beaufort dresses up for stage 8, 2007 Tour de France

 

Maillot Jaune vache

Maillot Jaune vache

(don’t you just love the pink glove “udders”?!)

Maillot-a-Pois vache

Maillot-a-Pois vache

The reason for the cow theme is that Beaufort is famous for its Beaufort cheese. I love it when towns take their specialties and apply it to the Tour (as in the photo above with La Clusaz and skiing)! I’ve seen plenty of other creative examples on television during the Tour.

Hotel at the top of the Col de Lautaret

Hotel at the top of the Col de Lautaret

This is a luxury hotel at the top of the Col de Lautaret, one of the few 4-star hotels in the area! It’s the only thing up there too, except for a souvenir stand across the street!  The closest town is La Grave 10 km away. This is the base of the Col de Galibier from the south approach

Hotel in Bourg d'Oisans greets cyclists

Hotel in Bourg d'Oisans greets cyclists

This hotel in Bourg d’Oisans at the base of Alpe d’Huez keeps its TDF-themed decor year round. Bourg d’Oisans often hosts the Tour, and this area is a “mecca” for cyclists.

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