The story of the past four days has included many ups and downs both "geographically" and emotionally. We have been happy, we have been sad... we have laughed, we have cried... we have been in beautiful sunshiny mountains and farmland where it was pissing rain.
We have met some amazing new friends, pissed off some old friends (that would be Bo pissing off others... no surprises there), and we've learned that Lourdes sucks, Pau ROCKS, the mountain is THE BOSS... And pro tour riders are almost every one of them good guys... Yes even Cavendish whom Nikki was able to score a couple photos with and get his autograph.
Long story short... following the Tour de France is a full-time job and we have honestly meant to provide more updates but haven't had the chance (ie: we've been exhausted and sleeping).
In spite of a poorly run "guided" (in the loosest send of the world) tour, we are having the time of our lives.
A quick note about today... (we'll catch you up on previous days later)... We caught the start of today's queen stage in Pau due to the awful (pissing rain) on the Tourmalet. All the buses were accessible to tourists, as were many of the riders. Courtney and Nikki hung out at the HTC-Columbia bus to meet the likes of Eric Zabel (won more green jerseys than anyone in history), Mick Rogers, Tony Martin, Bernie Eisel, Mark Cavendish, and others. They even gave us water bottles which we had them sign.
We also caught George on his way to the start and grabbed a photo (We could only download the pix from the iPhone... the pic w/ George and all the others are on our "real" camera... to which Bo forgot the cord to connect it to the computer for downloads)... Court & Nik were also in their "Io non sono Ted King" shirts so the Cervelo guys got a picture of them to send to Ted King... to prove they aren't him! Nikki spoke a little Italian with Alessandro Ballan and got a photo with him... and then Bo and Nikki hung out with Allen Lim... aka "The Mad Scientist" for a little while at the Radioshack bus and he gave them hats and a water bottle <-- Crazy nice guy! We gave him tips for where to eat when Team Radioshack shows up to the US Pro Nats this year! He mentioned he hopes the entire team (US riders of course) come... and we do too!!!! (Also saw Lance and his entire fam.)
While Courtney and Nikki were hanging w/ the HTC boys, Bo was reaching out and giving a pat on the back to all his favorites like Thor Hushovd, Ivan Basso, Fabian Cancellara, Andy Schleck, Chris Horner, Big George, Wiggo, Juan Antonio Flecha, Silvain Chavenel, Christoph Moreau, Cadel Evans, and of course a completely bandage covered Jens Voigt... who responded with (in a perfect Arnold Schwarzenegger voice), "Don't touch anything, it all HURTS!" To which Bo apologized and Jens said, "Eeeets Okay."
More later but we've got to get ready for dinner and figure out what's in store for tomorrow... either we hit the feed station for a sprinters' stage, or we climb the Tourmalet (too cold, wet, and foggy today... not to mention the million people on the way up it!!)
Au revoir for now!