Some may know that cycling has been a huge passion of mine for the last 4 or so years of my life. This past summer I got the incredible opportunity to travel to Europe for a month and I planned it to run into the first two stages of the Tour de France in Brussels, Belgium.
In short, the race itself is an absolute bitch to spectate. Hundreds of thousands of people jammed in one city to watch a sport that already isn't exactly spectator friendly. But quite honestly, that is part of what makes it so special. Belgium is the cycling capital of the world and was the perfect host for the Grand Depart in this years tour. Got to see cycling legends like Eddy Merckx, and of course the absolute greatest cyclist in this era all ready to take on the biggest stage of them all.
Stage 1 - Flat
For Stage 1 my girlfriend and I woke up early to get downtown in order to find the team buses and all the riders. We were not able to find all the team buses but eventually ran into the masses of people all going to the start line for the race, now about to start in about 3 hours. We followed and eventually ended up in front of a stage that was going to be the rider sign-on area in about an hour. This was perfect, we got to see every rider come up on the stage and sign on. My first time seeing most all these riders that before I would only watch on TV.
After seeing the sign in and what we could of the start we took transit to the finish line and stood at the 250m mark until the finish and watched the rest of the race on the big screen, great time, with big crowds all watching.
After waiting and waiting, we got to see one of the most incredible sprints ever.
Stage 2 - TTT
Stage 2 was a TTT, so was really great to be able to see two disciplines of the sport, a sprint stage and a time trial, next on the list is to for sure be on the side of a mountain for a mountain top finish. Regardless the TTT was sweet, half the day was spent watching the riders warm-up and go through their routines. Then after it was much easier to spectate as fans were spread out all across the 30km course watching the teams go by every minute.
The Tour was an incredible two days that created a lifetime of memories for me, and I will absolutely get back another time.