Tour de France Rest Day: Behind the Scenes

Imagine two small cities quickly constructed for the departure and arrival of the Tour de France stages each day.  The finish is a much bigger production because all of the media broadcasting from wherever the finish is that day.  Just moments after the finish, crews begin breaking it all down to move to the next town. It reminded me of the circus, except the circus does not move everyday.

 When you walk behind the scenes you have to watch your feet. There are wires snaking everywhere.  There are also water tanks and septic tanks. Surprise, there are also open air urinals. There are trailers and tents for every imaginable kind of media.

 I was walking by one smaller trailer and I saw a photojournalist with large lenses hanging off every each arm. “Are you one of those photographers who bravely takes pictures hanging off the back of motorcycle?” I asked.  He said yes and invited me to step in the trailer and see the small tribe of photographers all hurriedly downloading their photos to send to AP or Reuters or other news services. I snapped a few photos and he introduced me to Jesus– “one of the best”.  I left them to their work and continued exploring.

 I found the NBC Sports trailer and the announcer Paul Sherwen hugging his kids. There was a tent where the stage winners went from one interview to the next in English, French, Italian, Spanish or German.IMG_1152

 The packing up was getting more intense and I realized that I better stop taking pictures and pay more attention to where I was walking. Where is my lens cap? Not my pockets. Oh fudge.   A few moments later I passed the photojournalist’s trailer and there was Jesus holding out my lens cap. I thanked him and wished him good luck and a safe tour. 

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