There are 3 main signs of spring in Le Sud for me: blossoming almond trees, terrace time at the pub, and live cycling races. The French pro season begins each year with the one-day GP La Marseillaise then follows up quickly with its first stage race – l’Etoile de Besseges. Here’s me watching the final 50 meters of the former.
Before the beer, there’s usually a ride, and this was no exception. I finally got over to ride the Route des Cretes between the lovely little seaside village of Cassis and the city of La Ciotat. There’s a steep climb to get up to the top, but it’s well worth the watts once you get there.
Three days later l’Etoile de Besseges started and I got myself out twice to watch. Unfortunately I only took videos of the riders (which you can see here), so I give you a local FDJ fan instead.
It’s not over for us yet either. In two days the Tour de la Provence begins, followed by the winner of the Least Marketable Race Name prize: The Tour des Alpes Maritime et du Var. It’s only February, but the winter of cycling discontent is good and truly over.