I suppose you think that because I’m at the Tour I’m really clued in about the race. Fat chance.
Over the last days I’ve started to notice the same faces outside Big Garmie and, as we wait like desperate camera and mic weilding vultures for cycling carrion, we chat. After 7 days of keeping my race-confusion under my hat I let slip that I had very little clue about everything that was really going on in the race. Imagine my surprise when many of them nodded their heads with a weary resignation and agreed they shared my situation.
This is where the cold reality of what television has done kicks in. You can be right there beside the road but it’s the TV coverage that gives you a real perspective on what’s going on. One of my fellow Garmie stalkers, an experienced journalist who’s covered the race 9 times, told me she needs to watch the race in the press room on TV to get a proper idea of what’s going on! On occasion she’s even rung up her husband in the States to check a detail.
Well this Garmie-stalker doesn’t have access to the press room or TV (or electricity most nights). Today we shot the start in Toulouse, shot race coverage in 2 spots along the route, shot the end of the race AND got a 1 on 1 interview with David Millar in his hotel room in Pau and I saw it all through the viewfinder. We’ve also driven almost 300km today and had no Phil Ligget, Paul Sherwen or Bob Roll giving us the low-down. I’m amazed to realize that I can’t wait to get home so I can turn on the Tivo and watch the race!
Tonight marks the end of our second week travelling in Har-V. So far we’ve done nearly 3,000km and we decided to celebrate with real food for dinner – perhaps somewhere typically French yet affordable. But in Pau at 9pm on a Sunday night near the ring road that meant that Smudger and I dined at Quick – the French version of McDonalds.