Wednesday, September 09, 2020

New France at the Tour de France


Brouage -- as the Tour helicopters saw it

It looked like New France day at the Tour de France yesterday. Not that anyone on the Tour knew or cared, but at least one viewer noticed. (Actually, it reminded me of hitchhiking through this area a long time ago.)

Racing along the southwestern coast of the country from Ile d'Oleron to Ile de Re (it's okay, they both have causeways to the mainland), the peloton zoomed right past the citadel of Brouage, birthplace of Samuel de Champlain, a seaport then, now well inland. They continued through Rochefort, the headquarters from which the French navy's supply frigates sailed for New France every year for a century. Near the finish, they passed right by the fortified harbour of La Rochelle, one of the principal departure points for settlers and trading vessels alike.

 Flat stage, obviously, lots of crosswinds off the ocean. Sam Bennett won a big sprint at the end.

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