Just on France's National Day, last Saturday this market was almost shut down. While President Hollande attended the celebrations of the French National Day in a rainy Paris, tourists and inhabitants enjoyed a sunny day in Uzes. They lined up in their thousands in the shade of the plane tree avenues of this picturesque, medieval town to watch the spectacle of the "Tour de France".
"The Tour" defines endurance and global sportsmanship.The participating drivers are coming from all over the world. Functioning as a team sport, the race features teams of nine cyclists selected from a larger group of teammates.
Winning a Tour de France stage is the career highlight for many cyclists. Every day, one rider is victorious, and he climbs onto the finish podium after a stage win and hears fans' cheers and receives various accolades. But a rider's individual triumph, at least to some degree, is the result of selfless teammates. It's rare for a cyclist to win a stage without acknowledging teammates who've put him in a position to ride to a triumph.
This team spirit is also mirrored to the spectators: Unlike professional sports played in stadiums and arenas filled with fans who've paid for tickets, the Tour stands alone in the sports world. Its arena extends past countries' borders, and for fans, it's the best bargain in sports, because it's free. Still, because it is free, this is bringing also some constrains for the people of any town and village with it. Because the Tour de France is sponsored by private enterprises a convoy of over 1000 cars and trucks that looked like a carnival was driving through the medieval town. People standing on this trucks, throwing t-shirts, candies and all kind of gadgets into the cheering crowd.
The actual reason, to watch the bicycle race with about 160 cyclists, taking part in this year's "Tour de France," was then over in just five minutes...