Fans of the Tour
Meera - The fans lining the streets of the route really do provide an incredible atmosphere. They travel thousands of miles across the globe to see cyclists passing for a matter of seconds. So I jumped out of the car along the route to meet some fans that were certainly having a good time...
Meera - Now I'm just outside with a lot of supporters that are all lining the streets here following the Tour de France. What are some of your names?
Nigel - Nigel from Leamington Spa in England!
Hayley - Hayley from Leamington!
Meera - Now, why are you all here supporting the tour? What do you think about the tour?
Nigel - It's brilliant. What an event! Great!
Meera - And are you supporting any particular rider?
Nigel - We're going to win it. We're going to win. Bradley is going to win.
Meera - Bonjour!
Roy - I'm Roy.
Meera - Who are you supporting here today?
Roy - To drink. We brought a lot of beers of Rose from Savoie and we are here in Notre Dame de Bellecombe.
Meera - So you're enjoying it all.
Roy - Yes, of course.
Meera - How early did you come here then, in order to set up here and look?
Roy - We left the car very early in the morning with the bells, with the beers, with the rose, with our flags, with everything, and then we met here with friends. I have a lot of English friends in Notre Dame de Bellecombe...
Meera - Okay. right, so what's your name?
Tim - My name is Tim and I'm from South London.
Meera - And Tim, why are you here supporting the tour and spectating?
Tim - I just think it's a great event, it's a great time, I bought my bike out here and am doing a few of the stages and getting on.
Meera - And are you supporting the British riders?
Tim - Of course, totally.
Meera - Anyone in particular you're following?
Tim - Not really. I mean, I just admire them all really. I admire them all for the athletes that they are, so it's great.
Meera - It's a great atmosphere out here.
Tim - It's absolutely fantastic.
Meera - But have I mentioned, the tourists spanned from halfway across the world, as well as local cycling teams, and I met quite a few during my days out there.
Thierry - My name is Thierry de Lamber
Meera - Thierry what are you doing here today at stage 10? We're here in Chambery, but you're now part of a big group of cyclists. Is that right?
Thierry - I belong to a secretaries team of Chambery. We enjoy to practice bicycle. We climb very often and we know the difficulties to practice into the mountains. And so, we climb at 6 or 7, maybe 10 kilometres per hour, and so, when you know professional practice at about 20 in the same conditions, it's very attractive to know that.
Jeff - My name is Jeff Bowden. I live in Miami Beach, Florida and I came here for a week just to watch the Tour de France and just check out the Alps.
Meera - And so, that's quite a long way to come specifically to watch it.
Jeff - I like cycling a lot. I like watching it. My wife gave me a week to go on vacation without her, so...
Meera - And what have you managed to see so far then? So we're on to stage 10 here today.
Jeff - Yesterday, we started in Saint Jean de Maurienne. I rode from there to Albertville then Albertville up the Col de Madeleine, went up to the summit to watch all the bikers come up there, and yesterday was a great time.
Meera - And what do you think is the best thing about coming to watch it? Is it the atmosphere or is it just the cyclists themselves?
Jeff - I think it's the atmosphere, having people just come all over the world in one spot here, all the different languages, and everyone was very friendly to each other, and it was a great time.
Dez - My name is Dez Cheatley and I'm from New Zealand.
Greg - My name is Greg Brown and I'm from New Zealand.
Meera - So that's a long way to come over to watch the tour. So what made you guys come?
Dez - First of all, we watch it every year on TV in New Zealand and we look at a lot of the slopes and a lot of these mountains here, and the excitement of the thing and it always looks like it's a flat terrain, but until you actually get your bike and you ride it, that's a whole new ball game. You can see how these guys would suffer and the strength that they have to get up.
Meera - Do you cycle yourselves?
Greg - Yes, I do. It's the same thing. You look at them and you see the way these guys suffer in the work that they do, and to actually come here and ride the same rides that they ride, and see what they go through, it's a real eye opener. I mean, I take my hat off to those guys.
Meera - What about the atmosphere? I mean, we're here at the start of stage 10. There are so many people here. There's publicity vehicles going through. It's quite a festival vibe, isn't it?
Dez - It is very festivE. In fact, there's so much passion here for the sport. It's unbelievable. We were just talking about it before.
Meera - Have you managed to get quite close to the cyclistS as they pass?
Greg - Yeah. I mean, you could reach out. I mean, as close as you are to me, and, in fact if you don't keep your wits about you, they'll ride over you.
Meera - And you'd hate to be the person to cause them to do that.
Greg - Absolutely. I wouldn't like to take a biker out and down!
Meera - So it's clear that a lot of the spectators are avid cyclists themselves. That was a mix of fans from various stages of the tour, explaining their reasons for watching the race.