The Tour de France started its last Alpine stage in my hometown, Chambéry, on July 14, the National day Americans call “Bastille Day” (The French say “le 14 juillet.”). About 10 minutes after the start, the riders passed through my village, Les Marches, on a road that’s about 1.5 km (1 mile) away from the house where I grew up.
The temperature was very hot, in the 90s, and people kept cool in the shade while waiting for the riders.
The kids got excited when they spotted the television helicopter, the surest sign that the peloton was getting closer.
Here they come, very fast: probably at 55 km/h (35 miles/hour) on that road. Video courtesy of P.W.
And here he is: Lance Armstrong, passing through my village in a blur.