Wednesday, August 26, 2015

When the Tour du Poitou-Charentes came to our village

French Village Diaries Tour du Poitou-Charentes 2015 marshal
My official pass

Today was a very exciting day. Today the Tour du Poitou-Charentes came to our little village. It took control of our roads and blasted through in a horn honking, blur of noise and colour and it was great fun to be a small part of it as a marshal.

We had a brief meeting in the morning to collect our passes, decide our positions and as a bonus collect a picnic lunch provided by the mairie. We had to be in position at 12.30pm, about an hour and half before the cyclists were due to arrive to ensure the roads were clear for the publicity caravanne that passes an hour beforehand. I picked quite a busy junction on the way out of the village and by the time we had to shut it completely I had a small traffic jam behind me and was feeling quite important. 

However when the official marshals sped into the village, jumped off their motorbikes, unrolled their yellow flags and got out their whistles, they slightly took the edge off my role. It was amazing how tiring it was to spend two hours trying to be responsible and communicate with French drivers who were being delayed, but I still managed to take a few pictures.



French Village Diaries Tour du Poitou-Charentes 2015 marshal
A real marshal with a flag

This is the Poitou-Charentes cow who always heads the convoy before the cyclists. When you see him arriving you know the action is not far behind.


French Village Diaries Tour du Poitou-Charentes 2015 lead car
The lead car

It is common to have a breakaway group of cyclists who form a small bunch ahead of the main peloton quite early on in the race. We were an hour into the race and this group were just over five minutes in front of the main group.


French Village Diaries Tour du Poitou-Charentes 2015 breakaway
The breakaway

I didn’t manage to take any photos of the main peloton, however my friend Karine, who was also a marshal on the run into the village managed these two fantastic pictures, merci ma belle.


French Village Diaries Tour du Poitou-Charentes 2015 peloton
The peloton approaches our village


French Village Diaries Tour du Poitou-Charentes 2015 team cars
The team car convoy

This great shot of the peloton whizzing throught the middle of the village was taken by Ed who was helping Ade at his marshal point at the end of our road.


French Village Diaries Tour du Poitou-Charentes 2015 peloton
The peloton in the village


It was great fun to be involved and to see the village in a different light and I even managed to pick a few freebies, including a AG2R Mondiale multi-coloured pen. Lucky me!


French Village Diaries Tour du Poitou-Charentes 2015
My freebies