Tuesday, July 24, 2012

It's a bike race, too?

I like to watch the Tour de France each year. For me, it's less about the cycling and more about the scenery. During the several hours of television coverage each day of the race, the helicopters following the action take beautiful aerial pictures of the countryside, towns, and castles along the race route.

The Eiffel Tower on the Seine. Just so you know it's Paris.

On the last day of the race, the cyclists ride almost ceremonially into Paris (there is a serious sprint near the end, but it usually does not alter who the winners will be) and the sky shots of the city are great. Here are a few that I took by pointing the camera at the television screen (there are some ground shots, too).

Le Grand Palais. Oh, it says that on the screen. Duh.

The Tuileries garden and the Louvre behind it (at top). The big building across the river is the Orsay Museum.

The Luxor obelisk on the Place de la Concorde. Nice camera work, guys!

The Arc de Triomphe on the Avenue des Champs Elysées.

Mark Cavendish wins the stage, but not the race.


  1. My favorite artistic shot on Saturday was the one of something golden and gleaming in close up. It was only when the camera zoomed out you realised it was Joan of Arc's horse's plums...

  2. That's a good time to go to Turkey - Apricot season but the weather is too hot .

  3. It is wonderful to watch. I have a vague memory of you having a picnic next to the route last year.....or was that two years ago.

  4. They give us nice shots here,too, on the U.S. coverage :))

  5. I was really happy with their coverage on the last day. I was also rooting for Mark Cavendish. Hope your weather predictions are correct.

  6. Mark Cavendish has my vote every time!
    What a guy... Sprinters have to keep up with all the other racers and still have enough leftover to win. I know...the peloton and his teammates help but it is still quite a trick to pull off.

    Walt, do you know how I can view some of those cultural shots - now that it's over? I would love to see some of those overhead shots of beautiful places.

    Mary in Oregon

  7. For us, Walt, it is 2CV spotting as well as the scenery.
    We were at our then home in the UK when it came through Le Grand Pressigny a few years back.... it was great seeing the 'copter's eye view of our area.... and spotting our Maire at the top of the tower at the chateau!
    We missed all of the vehicles in the "Advertising Caravanne".... but Nick and Jean were here and put some shots of them up on their blog.... that sufficed.
    Sky showed us just what real team work is all about... no overblown egos there!
    Tim on t'wife's machine!

  8. Thanks for the great photos, Walt!

  9. The race is shown every night on television in Australia and the attraction of the coverage for most of us who know little, if anything, about cycling is the magnificent scenery of the French countryside.


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