It’s taken nine years of blogging, over 2,500 blog posts, 20,000 kilometres of cycling around Europe and three (rather good) books… but I’ve finally been invited on an all-expenses tour of a foreign land. The land in question is the Dordogne region of France and earlier this afternoon I touched down in Bergerac for four days of action-packed tourism. The people who invited me are Welcome To Yorkshire. Now you are probably wondering why the tourist authority of England’s greatest county [at this point all Lancastrians have stopped reading and gone off to watch a cat video on YouTube] have invited me to visit one of France’s prettiest regions and it would be an extremely good question but hold the thought and bear with me; all will become clear later in the week. One clue is cycling. It is no coincidence that the 2017 Tour de France is about to arrive in the south west of France and, more specifically, Bergerac will host the finish line of stage 10 of the race on Tuesday. Much more of that in the days to come.
Meanwhile, along with three other journalists I am being afforded the opportunity of visiting most of what the Dordogne has to offer. Expect lots of pretty buildings, wine, cave paintings, wine and foie gras. (Did I mention the wine?) So far, so good although at the moment I’ve been left to my own devices here in Bergerac to acclimatise which is quite nice. It’s all very reminiscent of Yorkshire in the lead up to the arrival of the Tour de France back in 2014; lots of bicycles, lots of yellow.
So, welcome to the alternative coverage of the 2017 Tour de France (stages 10 and 11) courtesy of CyclingEurope.org. It could be fun. In the meantime, a selection of pretty pictures of Bergerac, a town waiting for the world of cycling to descend in just under two days…
Thoroughly deserved, sir! Vivid memories of watching le Tour sprint finish a long day in the Pyrenees in ’82. Super-lean bronzed athletes tearing devil-may-care into town , many with blood streaming after an earlier crash. And motor cyclists with brown faces and white necks strutting round at the finish, all part of the circus.
Wait – you’ve left your bag carrier and personal valet behind!