It doesn't matter if you are part of the written press, television, or even a cyclist, the Tour is a moving circus. The constant shifting of position each and every day wears on everyone. The riders race during the day and the media compound travels by night to set up each and every finish. At the finish I get the privilege of interviewing the stage winner and all the jersey wearers. I don't talk with all of them because Versus does not like to do the translation thing, so we target the English speakers.
Behind the podium is the protected area where there are three camper cars for the riders to wash up in before they come meet the media. One of the sensations of this Tour has been Andy Schleck, who many say will win the Tour de France in the next three years. Andy not only has been one of the strongest in the climbs, but his willingness to speak with many of the media is also unmatched.
At the bottom of l'Alpe d'Huez it was chaos around the CSC bus with Carlos Sastre in yellow. The road was too narrow, the buses too large and every time a team car had to pass everyone would get squashed. Once Carlos stepped out of the bus the little streamers they use to keep people back were torn off as everyone rushed in.
As we head to Paris I'm glad the Tour has ended. I have enjoyed the excitement of the Tour this year and in a way it was an easier Tour then previous years. The teams were more accommodating, the riders more willing to speak, and the mountains not as draining to get through. The next few months will be critical for cycling as ASO and the UCI work out their problems. The riders and teams will also have to work out their own rules, between themselves, involving the next races and disappearance of the Pro Tour.
I hope everyone enjoyed the podcasts and the articles. I enjoyed bringing you the excitement of the Tour de France.