It’s every cyclist’s dream: watch the Tour de France, ride the exact same mountain roads as the pros, then hang out with all the screaming and often scantily-clad fans alongside the course. We didn't make it to France this year, but frequent contributor Dave Cox recently arrived in the Alps as a participant in one of Ciclismo Classico’s Follow the Race in France trips.
Today, for stage 17, the group’s plan was to ride 64 miles, including the final climb at Pramartino, before cheering on the peloton in Pinreolo. The only problem? Police.
The French authorities guarding Wednesday's route weren't cooperating. Dave writes: “They were supposed to let bicyclists through until two hours before the caravan arrived, but they apparently changed their minds. A heated discussion broke out between riders and the police, who were not budging. It was a chaotic scene: more and more riders kept showing up, the number of police continued to swell, and everybody was worked up. Eventually, the police relented, telling us that if we rode politely and courteously, we could continue to the top. A mad dash ensued.”