After yesterday' s hassles i woke bright and early and was out of Pau to Lourdes and rode the course in reverse until the Col d' Aubisque whereupon i rode back to the Col Souler and descended to Ferrieres and then rode back to Pau arriving in plenty of time to chat to Hondo and a few other riders as well as greeting some of the Team personalities including Bob Stapleton who was grilled by the media about the future prospects of the HTC team .
During the ride through from Col de Souler to Col Aubisque we found cows on the road who would not budge , they arrived first didn't they !
Later there was an amusing message painted on the route just before the arrival on the Col Aubisque , wonder if the helicopters will pick it up and show it on TV to satisfy the scribe . Photo will be loaded at a later date !
Before descending to the valley and riding back to Pau i came across a large number of " Trek Travel and Bikestyle clients " who had been transported to the Col de Souler as this AT LEAST gave them access to ride the route before the Gendarmerie closed the road . Saw the Gendarmerie quizing cars as i started riding up the Col de Souler at 7.30 and there was a presense on both Cols when i passed over them . Why there is a road blockage so early amazes me since TDF can't expect everyone to start arriving so early so as to "twiddle their thumbs " until 16.00 when the racers are anticipated to pass through !
Gendarmes are like you and I , being expected to stand guard on the side of the road from these early hours must bore them to tears .
Evacuation from the mountain last night was "Racers first" i think , then VIPs ", then the Caravan with the "Public coralled on the side of the route and traffic travelling in one direction only ! It was a well planned and executed exercise by the Gendarmerie but there was still the odd glitch with railing/barriers being blown over and one local in his van attempting to force his way against the traffic flow ! Saw the BBC Sport people mover drive through the cordon to join the caravan , not sure if it was Boardman or his helpers ! Congrats to the Presidential Motor Velo Escort for the smooth running exercise .