Tour de France gallery: A day on Bardet Corner

Roman Bardet received a greeting that will not be forgotten anytime soon, as fans christened the final hairpin of the Puy Mary climb Bardet Corner

The Tour de France often celebrates the local rider of the stage. Sometimes, the pack lets the rider roll up the road to greet family, but Roman Bardet received a greeting that will not be forgotten anytime soon as fans flocked to the final hairpin of the Puy Mary climb, naming it Bardet Corner. In many ways, it served as a royal send-off to the French rider who announced that this would be his final Tour de France.

Bardet, of course, is having a stellar Tour after winning the opening stage—his fourth stage win in the Tour—and taking the yellow jersey for a day. But what happened today was singular as well.

“We’ve been communicating through the Romain Bardet fan club and social media,” said Louis Busson, one of the key organisers. “We also did a couple of videos which got like 60,000 views, so people knew were to come.”

The corner itself was located on the final hairpin of the Puy Mary, a 1,589-metre climb that towers over the rugged Cantal region that Bardet calls home.

Just four years ago, the Tour actually finished at the summit, only a few hundred metres after the turn. On stage 11, however, the climb was nearly 25 kilometres from the finish in Le Lioran. But that certainly did not matter to Bardet’s fans. “We camped down below and then walked up this morning,” Busson added.

Many considered the stage ideal for a breakaway, but with Tadej Pogačar and Jonas Vingegaard locked in a fierce battle for the yellow jersey, every second counts. As a result, they were the first to hit the corner. Not surprisingly, the thunder of applause resonated down the mountain. But on this day, no rider surpassed Bardet. After dropping off the lead pace several kilometres before, the 33-year-old rider came to the corner in clear view with a smile on his face and high-fiving many of the fans.

In moments like these, cycling offers a sort of communion between the cyclists and the fans. But they didn’t reserve the welcome for Bardet, and every rider was warmly welcomed.

Fans camped out the night before and waited for hours on Bardet Corner.

Adam Yates and Tadej Pogačar were the first to round Bardet Corner, while Jonas Vingegaard and other contenders followed the yellow jersey.

Quite literally a sea of spectators lined each side of the Puy Mary in the final kilometre.

The peloton makes its way around Bardet Corner, with the Cantal region stretching out far below. On a good day, it is said, you can see all the way to the Mont Blanc.

Romain Bardet savoured every moment around the newly christened Bardet Corner.

Bardet for President! 

Biniam Girmay, the popular Eritrean sprinter, attracted plenty of attention while wearing the green points jersey.

Really no cyclist was ignored by the fans on the Puy Mary today.

Just a little reminder on the roadside as to who is the local hero here.

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