Since the route took the competitors only a block away from our apartment, we decided not to go to the departure point in the middle of town and instead headed out at 10:15 accompanied by a sister-in-law and my two youngest nieces down the street. We found a great spot on a corner where the route took a sharp right hand turn. There weren't too many people around, and I'm guessing most folks went to the center of town to see the departure.
Just after 10:30, we were treated to little parade of all the sponsors of the tour. Most of the cars were blaring some kind of music, and were decorated according to their business, and had people chucking trinkets out to the crowd. The kids had brought a backpack, and at the end it was stuffed to the gills.
At 11:00, the parade was over, and we had an hour and a half to kill before the cyclists came by, so we came back home to check out our stash. Some of the things we got included
- 11 (!) assorted hats
- 2 blow up batons for clapping together and making lots of noise
- 2 mini bags of pretzels
- 2 chocolates
- a cheese snack pack
- 1 can of beer (!)
- assorted key chains
- assorted magnets
- 2 umbrella hats
And just like that, it was over. Before you could say "maillot jaune," the crowd dispersed and we were off to Chez MacDo with everyone else in Troyes for a celebratory lunch.