Riding the Pyranees, July 2005


Lots of pictures (thanks to Joe and Terry) - position the cursor over each for the caption. Words to follow......

The Tour sculpture off the autoroute from Pau Quite a cool depiction, except that the riders are all naked! I've just arrived and the weather is sweeeeet! Steve and Kasia's awesome place, and our home for the week Getting ready to ride in the morning Takes a while to get eight guys ready to ride! First night's dinner - crepes, and keep 'em coming! Not a bad view during dinner At the start of a 175km day, Joe lines us up for the first photo call Nice early morning light Me, riding, taken by Joe, also riding! Joe and Josh face up to the Col d'Azet At the top of the Col d'Azet - the road in the background is the final climb of the big Pyranean stage, the Pla d'Adet Me atop the Azet - ridden on one leg after my knee went, and the Aspen to get over yet. Surprisingly cheerful! Our incredible dinner venue, a tiny Auberge tucked up in the woods above the town Good company and good food The fierce wild creatures roaming the mountains Another village nestled in the hills Paul leads Josh on a typical lovely Pyranean road Nearly there! An appropriate expression on the statue! The boys celebrate reaching the top in traditional 'pose by the sign' style Thirsty work! Gotta love them mountain roads Cracking weather too Riding through Campan there were many pretend people - apparently representing those who have left the village, and displayed for a few months every summer The Spoke boyz conquer another summit The camper vans were out on the climbs five days before the stage - that's a lot of time to spend up a mountain! If we go this way we can climb another 1000m..... The summit of the Hautacam - Joe climbs above the clouds After morning rain, the sun burnt through to give some amazing views from the Hautacam And then we got to go downhill, not forgetting to check out the views! That's me on the corner:- One more time for the camera Joe Another well earned feed! Only three of us had ridden up, but here we are at the top of the Aspen ready to set off to watch the Queen stage of the Tour Only another three hours until Le Tour arrives..... But first we get the publicity caravan - here are some of the more bizarre vehicles Boogerd, Hincapie and Pererio - Hincapie would go on to take the stage at the summit Behind, Armstrong had no trouble holding on to Basso to defend his yellow jersey But Ullrich could not hang on to them Discovery also had the best young rider American Chris Horner, on his first Tour, was delighted when Joe gave him loud support! The first of two big groups, but everyone was safely inside the time limit Looking down from our vantage point above Saint Lary Soulan