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!