Cuneo was the host to stage 16 of the Tour which involved a 157 km ride to Jausiers in France and included a grueling 2802m climb to the top of the Col de la Bonnette.
Although the stage was won by Cyril Dessel, the day will be remembered for John-Lee Augustyn misjudging a bend at Bonette and sliding down the side of a mountain. A road side fan came to his rescue but I have no idea what happened to his bike, pretty scary stuff. Its a brutal sport cycling.
I have to admit to being a little disappointed at Mark Cavendish pulling out earlier in the week, but he did win four stages and I think Britain has a true cycling star in the making.
If you’ve never been to a stage of the Tour before its something well worth doing even if you’re not keen on cycling. Events kick off about two hours before the race with a massive carnival/procession which includes hundreds of cars in bright colors and strange styles, people dressed up in all sorts of costumes, in fact great entertainment for the children. I’ve included a selection of pictures just to give you an idea. The atmosphere in the town was electric.
When the procession finished many of the riders signed autographs for the fans which I thought was a nice gesture with many posing for photographs. Respect to them all.
At 12.30 the race started from the main square in Cuneo and slowly rolled away from the town. I have to say it was a truly remarkable experience and one I want to repeat again. I hope you all enjoy the photographs. Click on the pictures to view a larger version!
I went to a stage of the Tour when it came through Kent, UK last year and although the cycling entertainment only lasted about 30 seconds as they all streamed past, the entertainment value of the procession, and the real sense of atmosphere made it a great day. Great pictures by the way!