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Tour de France | 13th stage

Published on: Monday, July 20th 2009                   Written by: Dennis Hissink - Photography by: Mark Peters

Team Garmin at the Tour de France 2009

Tour de France

13th stage of the Tour de France 2009

Sailtron BV (Garmin Netherlands) invited me to witness the 13th stage of the Tour de France; a unique experience. The 13th stage leads us from Vittel, capital of the Vosges Canton, and sport city par excellence, to Colmar situated at the base of the Vosges mountains, in the heart of the Haut-Rhin and legal capital of the Alsace region. Vittel is small when you look at its number of inhabitants, only 6,200 people, but when it comes to sports, it certainly is grand. In 1971, the Town of Vittel engaged in an ambitious project: the preparation of the French team competing in the Olympic Games of Munich the following year. In setting up a Multi-sport Training Centre (CPO), the Town forged itself a sporting identity providing facilities for some 20 disciplines of the Olympic summer games.


Garmin Edge bike computer with GPS

Garmin Edge bike computer with GPS

Tour de France stage 13

Stage 13 of the Tour de France travelled over a distance of 200 kilometers with some steep climbs and only very little flat riding; among which two climbs of category 3 and 2 and the Col du Platzerwasel, which is a category 1 climb. Unfortunately, the weather forecast was not too good and turned out to be correct, making both cyclists and spectators suffer from rain showers. The start of the stage is when the publicity caravan takes off, followed by the cars and vans of the teams.

Tour de France live from the air

Tour de France live from the air

Helicoper flight from Vittel to Colmar

After around 180 km of traveling the stage this way, we exchanged our van for a helicopter. In between the rain showers, it was still possible to follow the Tour from the air, and a few kilometers before the finish, we landed and drove to the last part. It came down to a matter of minutes, but we did indeed get to witness the actual finish of the 13th stage.

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