Tour de France 2021 from Champs Élysées Paris

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(Edited)

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Last summer, in 2021, a few of us expats went to Paris to watch the last leg of the Tour de France. It takes place at the Champs Élysée, the famous shopping street that connects to the the Arc de Triomphe. The cyclists travel up the street and around the Arc and then make their way back down the opposite side. They repeat this sequence around 6-10 times depending on the year.

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That summer was peak covid time and the country had recently introduced the new covid passports. I actually preferred that though, to be honest, because it meant that only a fraction of the people that typically watch the event would actually be there that day and a lot less people means a much better view. Crowds of tourists, am I right? Who loves crowds?

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There were still quite a few people there though as you can see in the photos.

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People gathered pretty early around the barricades to secure a prime location to view the race.

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I haven't see the Tour from any other location in the country but I would argue that the last leg in Paris is likely the best place to watch it since the cyclist pass by the area multiple times. The cyclists go by so fast that you only have a few seconds to actually witness them. The whole is event is basically over in less than 15 seconds. If you only had one opportunity to see them pass you would have to make a decision on whether you wanted to actually watch the race or to film or take pictures of it in order to show people that you were there. You really can't do both, that is unless you consider watching an event through a tiny screen actually experiencing it?

At the Champs Élysée you have the opportunity to do both though. You can do what I did and film the first two passes and then watch and enjoy the remaining few laps. It's kind of the best of both worlds.

The Blur


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From what I recall of the event, they don't announce where the cyclists are or if they are getting close. Or maybe they do and I just didn't understand what the announcers were saying?

Nonetheless I do remember there being a very distinct buzz in the crowd as the cyclists started to get close.

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Then suddenly everyone's cameras went up and cheers worked there way through the line of people, much like a wave at any large stadium.

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There were a few cyclists with a short lead on the main group, two or three and then a slightly larger group of three or four maybe. It was like a small trickle of water flowing by before an oncoming flood.

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Within mere seconds the small group becames a clustered mess of people. Bikes within inches of each other, all jockeying for position.

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It was a bit dizzying really. Its impossible for your eyes to actually focus on anything as the mass blurs by. Your brain is left trying to make sense of what it just witnessed.

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It's chaotic in an very organized chaos sort of way. Everything is at least moving in the same direction.

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There are always a few stragglers in any sporting event. As the main cluster passed I got a glimpse of them coming up from behind.

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Then the motorcycles and cars went by and it was all over, at least until they made their pass on the opposite side of the street.

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The process is literally over within 13 seconds or so as you can see in the video I posted.

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But luckily they repeat the entire sequence 10-20 minutes later and you get to see everything all over again. It's a pretty cool experience even though it all happens so fast.

Well, that's it for now. Thanks for stopping by.


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17 comments
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Cool just make sure no alezopi omi accidents happens there :)

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Haha yeah definitely. That was crazy. Some people get carried away and really don't think things through

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That with the Covid passports sounds like a real advantage, for which they were there. The view looks really good in the photos. I'm not that into the sport, but it looks like an experience.

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Yeah the benefit is reduced amounts of people for sure. That has been one of the positives of covid in general, less tourists and less line-ups everywhere lol.

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The Tour de France is a superb cycling competition, especially if you get good weather and no rain, I think you had a great advantage being here last year, due to the pandemic I think there were not so many people.

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so true with this sunshine it must have been a great experience!:)

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Yes we were fortunate to get really good weather that day. Last year the weather was pretty terrible actually. It seemed like the rain never stopped. But there were a few sunny days and this was one of them :)

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how practical that you had a good view because of the covid pass, covid sometimes has something positive ;)) no fun haha, the view is really great! It's also cool that you made a video about it, I've never been there, but I could really imagine checking it out :)

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Yeah there're a few positives associated with covid. Not many though hahaha but for reduced numbers of tourists it has been good lol

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Ah! The video ain't playing, you were not kidding the other day!!

The pics are cool! Of course, Le Tour De France, a classic for the frogs...

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The video isn't working for you?
That figures haha.

I meant to tell you a while ago that I finally watched the new Matrix movie. You were right about it being pretty bad. I found the first 30 minutes to be almost unwatchable. I hate this new trend of making reunion movies and the over the top "meta" approach. The new Scream movie is exactly like that as well. They basically just recreated the first movie with new characters and then explained to the audience exactly what they were doing the whole time. Stupid.

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I started the Scream movie, and after literally 20 seconds, I was like "fuck that".

I also realize I am getting a bit squeamish with years, and I don't like violence anymore. (says the MMA fan)

Did you check the new Lord of The Ring series trailer? That got me angry too.
Then they had "superfans" reacting to the trailer, that backfired.

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says the MMA fan

Haha 😂 that thought popped into my mind instantly when I read that. Different types of violence though. I get it.

I'm not sure how I feel about the trailer. It was so short I couldn't really judge it. Personally I wouldn't trust the opinion of any "influencer" since it's literally their job to sell whatever anyone asks them to sell haha but I'm not against diversity in film either. This guy is being a bit harsh I think. The previous movies were an interpretation by a 2nd party, not Tolkien himself. Everyone was white because of the time the movie was produced. This is a new interpretation in a new time. So it kind of seems like he is overly offended by diversity when I don't think that the book talked about skin color and stuff. So I'm not sure if I trust this guy's opinion either.

If the production, script and acting is good then that's all I care about really. Overall I'm open to the show but my expectations are low given how everything seems to be butchered these days. Lol

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(Edited)

Dude!!

I can tell you in advance it ain't gonna be good! And Peter Jackson's LOTR was a masterpiece and will never be bested!!

Oh by the way, the video is playing now!! Zooooooooooooooooooooo that was fast!

I think the guy was pissed that these influencers are talking about the series and not "specialists", which I understand! Anyway the whole "superfans" video completely backfired on the producers.

Do you know what's the budget for the series? Half a billions!! Damn!

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Peter Jackson's LOTR was a masterpiece and will never be bested!!

Yes that's true. We watch it regularly. Probably once a year I'd say, which is actually a bit too much for me but my wife always forces me. I like it a lot but we watch it too much lol.

not "specialists", which I understand!

Yeah I get that as well, sort of like regular people talking as if they are experts or something when really it's just a bunch of random peoples opinions, and everyone has an opinion. Lol

The budget is insane. It better be good for that price. Budget means nothing a lot of times these days though. You watch a piece of crap show nowadays and are like "what the hell did they spend the money on?"

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