Well, Bastille Day sure ain’t what it used to be on the Tour de France! For years the French riders would decorate their bikes with distinctive bleu, blanc, rouge handle bar tape on their national holiday, and in the best years, a Frenchman would win the stage.
This year, only a sprinkling of riders broke out the national colors and, well, while Michał Kwiatkowski is one great bike racer, he is not French. But still the mood was high along the roads in this corner of eastern France and plenty of fans got in the spirit of July 14.
Frenchman Victor Lafay, winner of stage two of this year’s Tour, broke out a new bleu, blanc, rouge, Ekoi helmet along with a red-checkered hat from the Tour de France caravan. “It’s going to be a hot one,” he said, joking with his Cofidis teammates.
Veteran Tony Gallopin, who announced that he will retire at the end of the season, enjoys his last Bastille Day on the Tour, riding to the start with a French flag in his helmet.
These two French women got in the spirit early as the waited for the race to pass by in the opening kilometres of stage 13.
This vintage Citroën 2CV appears to have custom Bastille Day colors.
The Sporting Bar, situated just after the intermediate points sprint in Plateau d’Hauteville even had parasols in French colors.
While the wind almost swept the parasol from these fans, the flag stood strong!
This Peugeot 204 has been properly decorated for the day by these local fans.
Fans cheer a group of riders on the distinctive hairpin turns of the Grand Colombier.
But the French flag was not the only flag spotted on the Grand Colombier, as the Norwegians made their presence known as well.
A couple of riders made the most of their day in the grupetto.
Who will carry Gallopin’s flag next year after he retires?