“…riding in France during the Tour you are afforded a respect and recognition from almost everyone. The traffic gives way and locals encourage you from the road side. “Allez, allez!” has been the soundtrack to each ride we’ve done. That you’re engaged in a pursuit, at whatever level, that forms such an important part of the culture means you’re heroic just in that. You’re part of a proud tradition and one that’s palpable wherever you go, because it’s in France.” Well said, Matt and Stefano in their final blogpost for CyclingTips.com.au.

Seven Reasons to Visit the Tour de France
We finished up our fantastic Tour de France trip with Bikestyles Tours by watching the final stage of the race down the Champs-Élysées from the Espace Triomphe, a VIP tent front-row experience. It was a perfect indulgent end to a challenging and rewarding two weeks of cycling.

The riders’ first pass down the Champs-Elysees
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Opening to the tented area along the tree-lined Avenue des Champs-Élysées for the final stage of the TDF



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Robyn, Shauna and Andrew ready for the day’s festivities in the VIP Triomphe tent.



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The “official” TDF souvenir tent bordered by a statute of Charles de Gaulle and a corner of the Grand Palais exhibition hall.



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Our view of the Luxor Obelisk, a 75 ft high Egyptian obelisk standing at the center of the Place de la Concorde around which the riders make 9 laps before crossing the finish line.



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A shot from our tent….looking out.



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A shot from our tent….looking in.



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A magician finds Shauna’s card about 10 different ways.



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In the end, Shauna got the card.



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Shauna and Mark with Grace Fitzpatrick, the master coordinator for our two-week tour, and a new friend for life.



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Mark & Shauna with our intrepid riding partner Sally from Sydney.



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Shauna and the girls. A good time was had by all.



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Shauna the boys –  two French guys who made space for her on the front lines so she could get up close and personal to the riders as they zoomed past.



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Glenn and Kevin each celebrated a birthday during our two-week tour. Such hilarious, and sweet, people we met.



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Tony, a sheep rancher from Southern Australia, with Sally from Sydney. Tony said that he sampled all of the deserts (about 20 different kinds).



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A short “intermission” nap helped maintain stamina during the 8 or so hours we were watching the final stage festivities. No need, however, to lose track of the champagne glass.



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Mark and Shauna with our new friends Greg and Andrew, paramedics from the Melbourne area. They were actually pressed into service while we awaited entry to the VIP tent. So glad they were around to help.



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Vincenzo Nibali won the yellow jersey for the 2014 Tour de France. Chants of “Vin-cen-zo!” rang across the famed avenue for the Sicilian, who dominated the race nearly from the start three weeks ago and became the first Italian to win cycling’s greatest race since Marco Pantani in 1998.



Tour and Tour Organizer: BEST OF THE 2014 TOUR DE FRANCE, Bikestyle Tours.