Frank Hwang ’99, Global Marketing Director for Cannondale, is in France for Le Tour. Cannondale sponsors Team Liquigas, featuring one of pro cycling’s premier riders, Ivan Basso. While he’s over there, Frank is sending us periodic dispatches for an inside look at one of the world’s most famous sporting events.
I’ve been in France in the Pyrennes for about a week. We started with some business meetings then a little 107-mile ride from the small town of Pau up to Col du Tourmalet. This replicates Stage 17, which will be on the 22nd.
The Tour is a rolling carnival. It’s amazing how these sleepy little villages turn into professional marketing carnivals for about 5 hours.
We visited Bagnere de Luchon for the start of Stage 16. Here’s a little snapshot from the team bus.
Here we are back in Pau [for the 16th Stage]. The crowds at the finish are unbelievable. People just went crazy especially with a French winner, Sandy Caesar.
The team buses were parked around the corner, so anyone could come up, look around, take pictures, ask for schwag, and see their favorite stars up close and personal. It’s very different than in the U.S., where everything is VIP and roped off. Imagine being able to touch Tom Brady or Lebron James.