Tour Talk – #TDF2019 – @Le_Tour Stage 15

The coverage of the Tour continues, with magnificent coverage. There are closeups in the peleton, cams on bikes, helicopters and motorcycles. Today one of the guys on motorcycle talked about the rules and dynamics of being on the road. Sudden stop, you are a lawn dart.

The heat has hit them. They’ve have temps of 100F. And now they are going to to the Alps.

All along the way, they show beautiful shots of churches and abbeys and castles.  Very often when they describe the view they have to name the Blessed Virgin along with many saints.

What got my attention yesterday, is that the Tour crossed over the bridge built into the ancient Roman aqueduct near Nimes.  And, yes, there were great shots of the amphitheater.  These are from yesterday, but today they were also at the aqueduct on the way to Gap, in Provence.  So beautiful.

It’s the first time, if you can believe it, when they’ve crossed the river here!

This three-tiered structure, about 2000 years old, is the highest of those remaining.

Pretty amazing.

I won’t write about today, since maybe you haven’t seen the results.

It has been great watching the Frenchmen in the lead.  Sagan continues to impress.  My affection for Astana hasn’t waned, in despite of their lack of shining.  One of their guys dropped after a crash.  15 teams have not had a stage win, while Jumbo has had several!

These broadcasts are so well done.  The commentary is great and they show superb landscapes and architecture, very favorable for the Church.  It is a great “tour”.

The beauty of Provence moves me perhaps to watch again the great films of the books by Marcel Pagnol starting with La Gloire de mon père – superb – US HERE – UK HERE  These are beautiful films which, in a way, remind me of how I spent my own summers (including the touches of undeserved and eventually reserved anti-clericalsim – hey, it’s French!).

A shot from the terrain today of the route and from the area where the movies would be.  I can almost feel the heat and hear the cicadas and languorous music.

It’s a shot of the mountains of the Suze.  Up to 6000 ft.

And if you have never had Suze you are in for a treat!  I’ve introduced numerous friends to this fine apperitf and it has always become a favorite.   I first had it with my good friend Fr. Alain, a seminary companion, after visiting Le Barroux.

Serve on ice with a generous sliver of lemon zest.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Julia_Augusta says:

    I am hiking in Alto Adige (or Sudtirol) and every afternoon, after my hikes, I am glued to the TV watching the Tour. I saw the riders cross the Pont du Gard twice, and it brought back beautiful memories of my earlier visits to Provence and Languedoc-Roussillon. So many magnificent churches and abbeys, castles, fortresses and Roman buildings such as the Maison Carre in Nîmes. In Alto Adige, one has a choice of 2 TV channels for watching the Tour: the German Eurosport or the Italian RAI. I prefer watching the Italian channel.
    I am also shocked by the crash of Jakob Fugelsang (Astana). He was 9th in the peloton! I’m still rooting for Alaphilippe. I want a Frenchman to win.

  2. seashoreknits says:

    Oh those films from the Pagnol books are some of my absolute favorites: My Father’s Glory as well as My Mother’s Castle.
    Thanks for the pics and commentary on the Tour, Father

  3. Mariana2 says:

    I hope everybody saw the medieval crusader waving his sword on top of one of the medieval ruined castles in the Pyrenees.

    Alaphilippe managed to hang on yesterday (Thursday), hope he’ll do it on Friday and Saturday, too, and it will be plain sailing on Sunday.

  4. Semper Gumby says:

    Thanks for these Tour de France posts Fr. Z, great photos. The Pagnol movie looks interesting.

    The Tour crossing the aqueducts brings to mind Orbis, a website that models transportation (sea, river, land, oxcarts, ships, season of year, cost, time, etc.) in the Roman Empire ( to go from Rome to Ravenna it’s easier to sail around Italy than to go overland).

    Interesting comments. Mariana2 I’ll look for that Crusader castle. Also going to look for a clip or two from Stage 16, which I think was in Provence north of Nimes.

    p. s. The chow in Provence is wunderbar.

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