The RoadBook

Maps, routes, time tables, sponsor info, and all the other behind the scenes info about chasing bike races with a camera.

Stage 10 - Escaldes-Engordany, Andorra to Revel, France

I began the day planning my route over coffee, and hanging with the lovely host dog, Indie:

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Plans for the day: Shoot the start, shoot the Port d'Envalira, maybe shoot somewhere else, belly rubs and neck scratches, shoot th finish. Ok, so Indie was responsible for suggesting the rubs/scratches, but don't even act like that's not a good idea in its own right.

Other plans for the day: Stop at an Orange store to finally remedy my SIM card issue. I had originally intended to stop at the nearest boutique Orange in Foix, but Indie suggested I instead head to the one in Pamiers to hop on course and shoot somewhere near Mirepoix first. Good dog!

At the start:

 

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Finally, it was time to roll out from the start to ascend the Category 1 Port d'Envalira: 22km of 5.5% average. But, that's a little misleading - the first half is rather shallow, but the latter half clocks in at ~6-9%, according to the course profile. Either way: it was hard. 

 

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Coming down the back side of the climb was another level of fun/scary/scary fun, as dense fog limited visibility down to a few meters at points.  

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After some serious rally-car driving from Ax-les-Thermes, I arrived back on the route in plenty of time ahead of the riders. I settled on the town of La Bastide-de-Bousignac to play with panning shots of the break, and casual shooting of the very casually paced peloton. 

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And then it was time to run to the Orange store.... If it were quick, I'd have just enough time to make it to the finish!

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It was not quick. Pamiers is a small town of just under 16k people.  

And all of them were cell phone shopping at 4 pm on a Tueaday.  All of my buffer time burned up trying to explain in ridiculously broken French, English, and pantomime why I would need assistance with my SIM card when I already have one and it was working. Or why I would want to verify my identity to top it up now, as opposed to waiting for a mailed in verification. Oh, France.

No shots of the finish today. Which is a real bummer, because Matthews took a great win. But on the plus side, I have the luxury of composing this post from the road.  

We'll try again tomorrow, as the Tour rolls along a flat transfer stage from Carcassone to Montpellier. So, sprint finish!