By sheer coincidence, whilst I was staying at Olonzac in the Languedoc region of France in 2013, a stage of the Tour de France was being run just an hour away. After watching the spectacle of the Tour de France on TV for many years, it was quickly decided that we would head off to the stage to witness this famous event first hand.
The stage we watched was stage 7 of the 2013 Tour de France and we based ourselves on the edge of the town of Faugeres. We arrived just before midday - just in time to watch the 'caravan'. This is a procession of vehicles decorated in race sponsors' livery and has become one of the main attractions of the race.
The colourful vehicles in the caravan were accompanied by music, giving a real party atmosphere to the parade. Many of the vehicles had people throwing sponsors' products to the spectators. The caravan procession lasted for about 45 minutes.
After the caravan procession has finished, we gathered up our freebies for a closer look.
And then we had to wait patiently for the riders to approach. It was a hot day so we were lucky fo find the only shady spot for about two kilometres (according to other spectators who had walked further up the road looking for more trees!).
After about another 45 minutes, the first of the breakaway riders arrived to much fanfare.
Then the peloton approached ......
rode past .....
and cycled away.
The riders were soon followed by the support vehicles laden with spare bikes.
And then it was over and all we were left with was the view - which wasn't half bad - and a fantastic sporting memory!
Is the Tour de France or another famous sporting event on your travel wish list? Tell me about it in the comments below.