I’ve been to France for the ‘Tour quite a few times… 12? And in all that time, I’ve never taken a decent photo of riders with sunflowers in the background, and nothing says the Tour de France like a photo of cyclists against sunflowers. It was even the subject of one of Velonews’ better April 1 jokes, involving photographer Graham Watson.
This will be the year I finally get “the photo.” The penultimate stage will be a time trial between Bergerac and Perigueux, out in the boonies. Using Googlemaps and the LeTour website I have mapped out the course, and using Google’s “street view” feature I’m able to find the intersection shown above. Now, it’s entirely possible that this particular field won’t be planted at that time, but at least I know that sunflowers are grown in the vicinity, and we should be able to find them!
Here’s a link to the presumed course of the time trial, and here’s the location of the intersection shown in the photo. My son and I will be staying in Bergerac, where the time trial starts, and ride side roads out to the location of the sunflowers. And alternative is to head nearly to the end of the course, to this location, where it appears there’s a good field of sunflowers to use as a backdrop. The advantage to this would be the proximity to the end of the course. The downside would be riding about 35 miles back to where we’re staying after the race.
One way or another, I will get that sunflower photo this year!