The Tour de France is oh so close

Early this year the cycle club put out a call for volunteers for the Tour de France. Now, it’s been awhile since I last volunteered and given that our club is called Club Metropole de Nice, Cote d’Azur, and both the mayor and Prefet are members, I put up my hand. More accurately I filled in a form on line. I volunteered to help out for a week as we weren’t following the Tour as it departed Nice because my beloved was doing l’Etape, which has now been postponed until next year. And, as all you cycling fans know, the Tour itself was pushed back two months.

Mid-August I got a call from the Town Hall enquiring whether I was still available to volunteer. I replied in the affirmative and the lady on the other end of the line heaved a huge sigh of relief. Obviously, her task had not been going well. I imagine that many who might have been available in July were no longer free at the end of August. I basically said I would do whatever, whenever. It’s a strategy that has stood me in good stead in the past.

I’ve advised my beloved that he’ll be looking after himself for a week. I tempered it with saying I would ensure that there would be plenty of food in the fridge. He’s most unlikely to starve but I know from bitter experience that I’ll have to thoroughly clean the place after he’s been left to his own devices for that length of time.

We’re getting together outdoors this evening to receive our Rapha kit, luncheon vouchers, free masks, hand gel, tram passes and accreditation. I’ve been pre-advised of my role which is essentially meet and greet, something I’ve done before and where my linguistic skills and local knowledge are hugely helpful.

I’ll be honest, I’m not looking forward to wearing a mask all day but it has to be done. How much cycling I’ll see remains to be seen. In fact, I may not see any cyclists at all! Typically, I would get my press accreditation and be jostling with the thousands of journalists, TV and radio crews who follow the Tour. Most of these will be reporting from the studio rather than in situ and conducting interviews via Zoom or similar.

Hopefully, next week I’ll have something interesting to report back on. Meanwhile, here’s a few earlier posts about some of my volunteering at cycling events:-

World Championships: Part I

World Championships: Part II

La Kivilev

Tour de France 2009: Monaco