The guys behind Greg Lemond and Bernard Hinault at L’Alpe d’Huez,1986 Tour de France

Alpe d'Huez #3

Even though I don’t write about cycling much, these old Tour de France photos are among the most popular on this website.

Watching the Tour on television, you feel this insane spectator activity is a little frightening. But on the scene it seems like a wave, a peristaltic action that flows up the route with the riders. Two minutes after they have passed, everyone calms down. You don’t think that all those beer-drinkers and out-of-shape tourists continue to run uphill after the riders, do you? at 2,000 meters elevation?

For the riders, however, it is insane, and they probably dream about carrying mace. All those idiots closing in, touching them, yelling and honking their horns, while they are at the end of their calories, legs screaming, ready to bonk.

These guys from the ( what? ) team have even formed a protective mini-echelon to get up the last turns at L’Alpe d’Huez, in 1986.

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