What's Cool In Road Cycling

A Day On The Alpe: Photo Essay

PezCycling News Photo-contributor Randall Butler spent July 13 like some of us did, and the rest wanted to – on the heat-baked slopes of Alpe d’Huez, soaking in the quintessential Tour de France day… Good for us he recorded the day’s hilites on camera, from the race to the podium girls, and all points in between…

Photos and words by Randall Butler –
“I drove up l’alpe d’Huez the night before the stage. Driving up l’alpe d’Huez is deceptive. It looks easy enough until you notice your 6 cylinder Renault is lugging in second gear…

Race day dawned to the spectre of French inspectors looking for weapons of mass distraction on the alpe;

Meanwhile, Camp David had no comment on the situation as George Bush privately reviewed attack plans with homeboy Lance Armstrong.

Across the way Jan Ullrich’s fans were already happily drowning their sorrows in a few litres of German beer.

I’m a purist. I believe that the tour is a lifetime in three weeks. I try to capture the range of human emotions that span this drama…

I would never sacrifice my artistic integrity on something frivolous. I mean honestly, what serious photographer would risk their reputation on a couple of beautiful euro grrls?

But I have to be careful. There’s a law in France that prohibits taking photos of people without their permission. I can’t begin to tell you the number of times I’ve been chastised for this. They actually have a fine in France for taking unauthorized photos.

The heat makes people do strange things, but this is more embarrassing than the lanterne rouge…

Does anyone know what Technique means? Hey – she’s taking a picture of ME. Quick, hide.

Honestly, who can think about a bike race when people are trying to survive a heat wave??

Hey look – a bike race! Unless you’re Michael Schumacher, it takes about 35 minutes, roughly the time that eventual stage winner Iban Mayo needed to climb it on a bike.

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