Le cul entre les deux chaises

An American Spaniard in France or: How I Learned to Make an Ass of Myself in Three Cultures

Tour de France 2013


The 100th Tour de France ended in Paris this past Sunday. Normally, I would avoid going to see the race since doing so involves many of my least favorite things, namely crowds, standing around, waiting, being hot, sweating profusely and having other people sweat profusely on me.

But my beau-frère is a big cycling guy and this was the 100th Tour and they were changing up the route so we went and I had an incredibly good time. Generally, I don’t follow sport (as my BBC friends call it), but I have been in places where there’s a big sporting event or a collective reaction to physical excellence and I do admit to getting caught up in the frenzy just as much as anyone.

I have almost 200 pics from the afternoon that we spent around the Arc de Triomphe (which the riders circled ten times during the final leg of the race), but I’ve selected just a few to give you an idea of what was going on there. [Click on the first photo to launch the slide show with bigger pictures.]

Thing that amazed me: it took less than 20 seconds for the group of 198 riders to whiz past a fixed point (me). On TV, it just looks like they’re going fast, but I can not express to you how quickly they’re moving when you see them live. There’s a WHOOSH and then they’re gone.

Thing that amazed my brother-in-law: In the thrilled voice of a little boy, he smiled and said,

“There’s so much smoking going on! It’s exciting!”


Author: le cul en rows

I'm an American Spaniard, living in France. I like to tell stories.

5 thoughts on “Tour de France 2013

  1. We went last year and were also impressed by the speed. Actually, on the first pass, we pretty much missed them but then focused more on the other times they went by us to really see them go by.

    This year, we were lazy and watched it on TV…but it did look amazing with the new circuit around the Arc de Triomphe. Now we regret it…we really should have got our act together and go in person. Oh well…that is life!

    • I must admit that we watched some coverage on the HUGE screen they’d erected because the camera angles they shot were incredible. Plus, I could actually SEE the screen over people’s heads. Being short stinks.

      • Yup, I agree being short stinks…I am only 5’2″ or 1.58m so I would have had to do the same as you…

        Watching on TV did have some advantages as you really get to see everything at all the possible angles but obviously we didn’t get the sense of speed and ambiance of the crowd!

  2. Awesome photos! I actually like the blurry one with the French flag — shows just how fast they were going.

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