Tour de France 2012 - Stage 12

This was pretty much the only 'normal' stage we visited, from Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to Annonay Davézieux.

Having been on the mountain top finish the day before we decided not to worry about getting to one of the two early climbs on this stage (would have meant another crazy early start I just wasn't up for) and instead pick a random place on the flatter route beyond these, close to that we would be driving anyway. It just so happened that the feed zone was a match with such a random place so positioned ourselves a little bit after hoping to grab some discarded team memorabilia.

Or that was the plan... wink

As it happened where we parked was in the feed zone but the only inkling of that was when team cars started to pull into gaps between spectators and hang musettes from their vehicles in preparation for something or other. By the time we actually figured this out for sure it was too late to move on. To be honest, I blame the crazy (but friendly) Aussies I chatted to on the climb the day before - we saw them parked up (one cannot miss this camper!) and figured they must be old hands at this and be in the right place... doh! wink

Never mind though - it was pretty interesting to witness the feeding as it were and we managed to collect just one bidon (along with the usual caravan cast offs - mainly St Michel madeleines - yum!) while having a rustle through a musette a fellow fan had grabbed.

10:30

First time seeing the caravan on the open road. Watch out - stuff thrown from a vehicle moving at 40-50km/h can hurt!

10:55

Calm before the storm & everyone is grabbing a bite, teams & spectators alike. Well, this is the feed zone, right? wink

11:30

As usual, plenty of waiting. Time for banter between fans. Or if you're a news crew, to collect a last minute report?

11:55

Here come's the break. It would be a good day for these guys with David Millar taking the stage. Nicely done!

11:56

Most of the field came by in 2 bunches. But having done some climbing there were a few alone or in small groups.

12:12

A look at some discarded goodies. Pro's tip for those handing out gels: fix the tab in the bottle cap as shown.