Saturday 13 July 2013

Tour de France at Montrésor

Yesterday, Friday the Tour de France was in our area. Stage 12 had finished in Tours and stage 13 ran from Tours to finish at Saint-Amand-Montrond. Part of the route lay along the Indre river valley and we were invited by good friends Susan and Simon to join them in a picnic at the lovely village of Montrésor and watch the whole caravanserai go by. As an added bonus we went in style -- in Céléstine, their superb vintage Citroen Traction Avant.

Crowds begin to gather at Montrésor
Prime postion for a picnic & watching the Tour
Simon found an absolutely 5* location, right in front of an old gated cave under the chateau of Montrésor and we set up camp and set about people watching until the caravane arrived.
A bit late for Agincourt!
Sadly, not very tuneful minstrels roamed the street
There were plenty of people in the village, but not so many as to make it difficult to see what was going on. The caravane swept by chucking freebies to the left and right and Simon got himself a nice wee haul of things and sweeties. Some of the cars were more like floats in their efforts to be creative in emphasizing their brand.

The caravane: LCL's huge lion
Haribo sweeties! A very popular car in the caravane!
After the caravane came a break during which everyone set about the serious business of having lunch. Simon had made some amazing pasties and as we'd brought food as well there was loads.

Just at the tail-end of the caravane a car stopped to judge the local baker's Madeleine cakes -- Montrésor was taking part in a competition linked to the Tour to find the best Madeleines. There was much excitement among those in the know as the head judge was Bernard Hinault, 5 times winner of the Tour.

The peleton sweeps past
The Tour leader: Chris Froome in the yellow jersey and sat on a yellow saddle
A bevy of helicopters signalled the approach of the Tour proper and we watched as groups of cyclists zoomed past. And then it was over. As soon as the bikes had gone everyone just melted away.


rusty duck said...

What fun! Perfect place for a picnic..

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Rusty - It was! and we'd never seen the Tour before.

the fly in the web said...

You certainly did the Tour in style..not just the lunch spot and lunch...what was in those padties?...but travelling in Celestine!

My neighbour's son when I was first in France had a traction avant...used for weddings mainly, but he would occasionally take friends for a drive and I remember it still.

Oh yes...and then there were the cyclists...

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Fly - don't know what was in the pasties but they tasted great!

and we're still recovering from the tuneless minstrels ;-)

wcs said...

It's something that everyone should do at least once. Good fun!

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Walt - totally! It's a wierd combination of nothing happening and then mad bursts of action.

GaynorB said...


We are very envious - TdF and in such style with a ride in Celestine.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@gaynor - well, we have friends with class ;-)!

Vera said...

I watched the Tour de France once, back in the UK. Waited for ages at the kerbside, then whizzzzzzz, past us went the cyclists. We were left looking at each other in amazement. It took all of a second for them to pass, and we must have waited for at least two hours!

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Vera - the carvane provided enterntainment and then it was lunch time so the gap between it and the cyclists was nicely filled with having our picnic :-).
But you're right, they are all past pretty much in a flash!

Leon Sims said...

Other friends of ours on the river Cher also were in Montresor to see the Le Tour go by. They are Blog readers and so you may have even passed by a couple of your readers in Montresor.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Leon & Sue - we did run into some fellow bloggers [from just over the border in dept 86] who are acquainted with Simon & Susan.

Perpetua said...

And you even had shade - essential in this weather. :-) What a splendid day and I do envy you the dignified ride.

The Tour wasn't very far from us last week, with the speed trial from Avranches to Mont St Michel, but sadly we were otherwise occupied.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Perpetua - indeed the ride was very classy :-)

Have fond memories of Mont St Michel, I've visited it several times, thankfully out of tourist season.