Chasing the Tour – Part seven, One Sunday in Paris (in yellow)

It had been 17 days since we’d kicked off our Tour and this was it- the final day, the final ride, one Sunday in Paris before we said goodbye.

We’d covered about 750km with 16,000m of climbing during the Tour, and I can tell you that with 4 course meals starting at 8:30pm and rarely finishing before midnight, 6am alarms, lots of waiting roadside for the Tour de France to pass and a whole lot of really large hills between Toulouse and Paris- we were pretty glad to be facing an easy 50km ride through Paris and a good sleep in the following day.

  Along for today's ride were TeamKP's Aaron, Claire & Cam along with Adrian and Eryn from Canberra.  It's not every day you take a photo just next to the place where Napoleon marched his troops in to Paris triumphant!

Along for today's ride were TeamKP's Aaron, Claire & Cam along with Adrian and Eryn from Canberra.  It's not every day you take a photo just next to the place where Napoleon marched his troops in to Paris triumphant!

  It was a warm one and we had to check that everyone's Garmins said the same thing! We couldn't believe that we were standing in 49.8 degrees celsius!

It was a warm one and we had to check that everyone's Garmins said the same thing! We couldn't believe that we were standing in 49.8 degrees celsius!

The bulk of the Tour was heading off on a ‘sights of Paris’ ride, where they would battle the traffic and hit all of the main tourist spots but we we’re off to do a charity ride that for EU$5 was going to give us (and 10,000 of our closest friends) the opportunity to ride the closed course of the Tour de France on the Champs-Elysees, the Tuilleries and Rue de Rivoli as long as we agreed to wear a yellow shirt.  Not a bad deal, especially considering this was the first time in the Tour’s history where they offered Randonee du Tour and allowed the public access to the race course.

  A selfie at the Arc de Triomphe!

A selfie at the Arc de Triomphe!

  Coming down the Champs-Elysees was a special moment.  The crowd was already 6 deep in places and like the MCG on boxing day- to stand on the hallowed ground was fairly awesome! (plus look at the hipster to the left- french cool at it's best!)

Coming down the Champs-Elysees was a special moment.  The crowd was already 6 deep in places and like the MCG on boxing day- to stand on the hallowed ground was fairly awesome! (plus look at the hipster to the left- french cool at it's best!)

We started our ride at the Arc de Triomphe and headed down the Champs-Elysees with enthusiastic fans already lining the road and cheering us along the way.  The pave isn’t as bad as I had imagined, though we were only riding at a fairly relaxed pace taking photos and joking with the crowd.

  Claire coming out of the tunnel- all smiles.  Just as I imagine Froome was when he came out of that tunnel for the final time this year!

Claire coming out of the tunnel- all smiles.  Just as I imagine Froome was when he came out of that tunnel for the final time this year!

  Rue de Rivoli - just 1km to the finish line.  Usually this street is 6 lanes of traffic, so to have it to ourselves was pretty special!

Rue de Rivoli - just 1km to the finish line.  Usually this street is 6 lanes of traffic, so to have it to ourselves was pretty special!

We rounded the Place de la Concorde, headed past the Tuilleries up on to Rue de Rivoli and back towards the finish line on the Champs-Elysees surrounded in what the organisers referred to as a ‘ribbon of yellow in the heart of Paris’.

  Claire found some fairly excitable Australian fans along the way!

Claire found some fairly excitable Australian fans along the way!

  A little bit of TeamKP on the Champs-Elysees.  Well done to Claire for wearing her jersey in the searing heat under her t-shirt just for this photo!

A little bit of TeamKP on the Champs-Elysees.  Well done to Claire for wearing her jersey in the searing heat under her t-shirt just for this photo!

It was pretty special crossing the finish line that day, it felt strangely symbolic of a journey complete, friendships formed and the end to what had been an incredible 5 weeks in Europe.

  The finish line of the 100th Tour de France - a symbolic end to what had been an incredible 5 weeks in Europe!

The finish line of the 100th Tour de France - a symbolic end to what had been an incredible 5 weeks in Europe!

After a quick shower and change, we wandered the streets of Paris that evening eating Macarons, drinking champagne and watching the final 49km of the greatest sporting event in the world quickly coming to an end. 

  Claire managed to out sprint all of the other girls to take 1st unplaced female on the day (or at least that's what she tells me!).

Claire managed to out sprint all of the other girls to take 1st unplaced female on the day (or at least that's what she tells me!).

  I had my Sagan moment on the Champs-Elysees and popped a wheelie while I had the chance!

I had my Sagan moment on the Champs-Elysees and popped a wheelie while I had the chance!

Would I do it all again? Sure- but next time I’m taking a campervan, a bunch of mates, and I’m going to explore the roads less travelled along the way.

  The end.

The end.

Who’s keen for TeamKP at the Tour in 2015?

Cam

Cameron is the Club Captain of the Kangaroo Point Cycling Club and has been blogging his way around France with the support of Claire the Treasurer and Aaron the President of the Kangaroo Point Cycling Club.

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