Timing of the rain (because it will rain eventually)
This days stage was a good day for the most part. It was dry today and that is good because it meant cleaning the bikes was easier (less road grime). Even though it was a good day for not having really dirty bikes, it started to rain just as I started to pull the first bike off the car rack after the race. So, we got to wash all the bikes in the pouring rain (sort of). Bonus parking benefit number one was that we parked next to the hotel and we put our awning out to extend towards the building and had shelter to wash under. Yes, a bonus! Bummer for Credit Agricole as they were parked in the middle of the lot away from the building. Because of that they could not extend their awning. It was windy and it would have broken it off. Thus they had to wash while standing in the pouring rain. Double bonus watching them suffer today.
Every stage there is a deviation just before the finish line for the team cars/caravan. I think it is a safety reason to keep the cars out of the sprint. I can imagine cars stopped and riders (dropped and finishing behind the caravan) plowing into them IF they had cars cross the finish. With usually about two or three hundred meters to go, the cars peel off the course in a designated area and drive around to the other side of the finish.
Yesterdays stage finished with a stiff one kilometer uphill finish. A lot of riders were getting dropped or just did not want to put a huge effort all the way to the line (after their job was done setting up their designated sprinter/finisher). One Credit Agricole rider (no it is just coincidence that is that team and no I’m not picking on them) was looking wasted. He was dropped and the caravan was passing him with about six or seven hundred meters to go. Just before our car (we were car 12) came up on him (he was just behind car 11) he followed car 11 (can’t remember which team that was). He headed for the caravan deviation without thinking (or unable to think). People started shouting at him and lucky after only 15 or 20 meters he turned around and returned to his job of trying to cross the finish.