Le Tour Mediterraneen 2013 – roadside stage 2

One of the great things about living in France is the chance to see international cycling events just about on our doorstep.

Today we went along to watch stage 2 of Le Tour Méditérranéen. This is a five-stage cycling event that is being held along various stretches between Limoux and Grasse. Today’s stage happened to be a 24km time trial between Cap d’Agde and Sète – an area we know very well as it’s one of our favourite routes.

The conditions weren’t great today. While there was lovely sunshine and not too many clouds, there was a very strong wind. We rode to Sète, had café near the canal at the western side of town, then braved the wind for as long as we could. Being a time trial stage, we didn’t get the fun of a peloton; it was each individual rider spaced about a minute apart, usually followed by a support vehicle. So after about an hour in that biting wind, we decided we’d had enough. Canal area, western Sete  Tour Mediterraneen 2013 Stage 2 Sete (1)  Tour Mediterraneen 2013 Stage 2 Sete (Photographer)  Tour Mediterraneen 2013 Stage 2 Sete (2)

During the time we stood roadside, the wind and sand were making a start on burying our bikes! Sete, by the beach  This was our view between riders Beaches at western Sete  view from Sete towards Agde  

Eventually we headed off, taking more pics along the way Tour Mediterraneen 2013 Stage 2 Sete (3)  Tour Mediterraneen 2013 Stage 2 Sete (4)

Congratulations to the winner of today’s stage, Lars Boom, who averaged almost 45km/h in the wind followed by a climb up Mont St Clair in Sète (photo courtesy of the official FaceBook page for Le Tour Mediterraneen 2013)  – I know personally just how TOUGH and cold that wind was today! Lars Boom, winner Stage 2, Le Tour Mediterraneen 2013

There were a few spectators around the main roundabout in Marseillan Plage, but we probably forever remain mystified about why one particular Frenchman was calling out & pointing at us as we stopped to take some more pics, and again as we rode past him further down the road (well away from the race). We’ll probably never know if we committed some terrible crime by crossing the race-route at the crossing manned by about 6 police (who didn’t mind) or if he was just yelling in general about spectators or the race itself. Our French listening skills still aren’t that developed!

But the real drama of the day was the shock announcement that the planned 3rd stage (tomorrow) has been cancelled as the local prefecture authorities did not give their authorisation for the event. It seems many people are very disappointed and unhappy, as it seems the organisers were trying their best to come up with alternative routes to suggest to the authorities. This can’t be a good day for cycling in France.

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10 comments

    1. I learned tonight in my French class that the French don’t have an equivalent saying for “wind chill factor”… that’s what it was on Thursday (and the wind’s still strong this week), I know it looks sunny but it was fekking freezing! I know its not as cold as all the snow & all that stuff, but we have actually had snow here at the beach too (see my past post “Sun, sand and a little snow”) – so its not all beer & skittles here all the time. Ok, well maybe for the other 10 months it kind of is… 😀

    1. Haha, didn’t think of that! He did do a lot of waving of his arms & shouting: “…something something something…VELO…something something…!!!” pointing THAT WAY to where the bikes (velos) were going, LOL 😀

    1. I know, it seems really strange – but from what I can gather, the organisers have been trying everything they can to get the approvals, negotiating different routes in view of problems, etc – but who knows what’s really happened.

    1. Yes, time trial days are like that – they depart one at a time, I guess so there’s no interference and then it’s based purely on their times. Unfortunately they’re aren’t as exciting to watch either 😀

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