Editor’s Note: John Kavouris continues his exclusive coverage of the Tour for In The Crosshairs. Follow him at @JohnKavouris on Twitter and Kavouris on Instagram. All photos © 2015 John Kavouris.
Stage 7: Livarot – Fougeres (190.5km)
In light of the drama, crashes, and weather over the last few stages, I am unreasonably happy to report that stage 7 was your average, run of the mill, Tour de France sprint stage. Weather was warm but not unbearably hot, breezes were light, the course was gently undulating. With only one cat-4 climb just after the start, this is the last day for a while that the pure sprinters will have a chance at victory. Besides the TTT on Sunday, a rollingly hilly stage 13, and Champs-Élysées, the riders will be seeing a LOT of mountains in their future, and the sprinters will be seeing a lot of time in the grupetto.
At only ~2,200 inhabitants, one would think that Livarot would be a little on the small side to play host to a Tour de France start. While the roads into town are limited (particularly if you’re approaching from the closed race-route side), once you do make it into town, it’s actually pretty quaint, and an exceptional host.
The Livarotais (yes, that’s what they’re called) certainly got into the spirit of things.
For the riders, though, it looked like it was going to be a straightforward day.
Shortest stem cue-sheet ever.
Bonus: Jonathan Vaughters (Garmin-Cannondale’s DS) sighting!
At the sign-in area, riders were the most relaxed I’ve seen them yet.
However, after Tony Martin’s (Etixx-Quickstep) withdrawl yesterday there was no yellow jersey present for the sign in. Chris Froome was virtual-leader all day, but would have to wait until Fougeres to wear the jersey again.
Like stage 4 – no photos of the start line today, as the day’s itinerary involved a lot more driving to hit several photo stops along the stage. Aside from photos of the race itself, today afforded more opportunities to stop and observe the human condition that is the Tour de France spectator.
Straight away leaving the start, I came upon a flock of VIP-viewing-experience helicopters. While zipping around in a helicopter like a boss does sound alluring, I can’t imagine it’s a way to REALLY see the race without also watching a live feed. And then, what’s the point?…
This. This is how you spectate a race. With friends and family and neighbors, on the side of the road, with camper vans and probably an adult beverage or two. Found here just outside of Canapville, but at virtually anywhere else along the course.
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