The parties in the Pyrenees at the Tour de France rock hard. The Basques put on a show, the cross dressing is top notch, the road side bars are well stocked and the passion runneth so far over you can’t help but get soaked.
We’ve been to the last two Tour de Frances and Tour of Californias and we’ll just say right now, the crazies at the summit of Swan Mountain, ten kilometers from the finish in Breckenridge, put on the best bike rave, disco-inferno, roadside lollapolooza we have ever seen.
Andy Schleck made a bold attack and Italian Elia Viviani sprinted to the win but really, the story was up on Swan Mountain. This race will be back next year because the crowds on Independence Pass, in Crested Butte and Aspen and Vail and Swan Mountain were beyond anyone’s expectation. Madness deluxe, Hors Categorie Party.
You want a summation of a race: how many hundreds of thousands of people had a good time and already can’t wait to come back. This was Burning Man on two wheels. Race organizers are slapping themselves silly with jot tonight. They were hi-fiving the crowds on the way up, grins on their faces. Only the race judge kept his sourpuss.
Just 100 meters down from the summit of Swan Mountain, a DJ who calls himself Good Steve had a fourteen hundred watt, six speaker system pumping everything from Rick James to Black Eyed Peas with techno thrown in just to keep everybody sweaty.
The inspiration for this party was those whacked Belgians in the Tour. “We had friends who came back from the Tour de France in 2004 and and they talked about the Belgian corner and how you can hear the thump-thump-thump from miles away,” said Good Steve. “That’s what we wanted.”
That’s what they got. When we told the Colorado highway patrolman that this shindig rivaled anything in the Pyrenees, he said, “please, don’t tell them that.”
While the groove was fairly spontaneous, there was a plan of sorts. “When they get up here we thought we’d play some AC/DC for Cadel because he’s from Australian. I’m also gonna play some Foghat, like “Slow Ride” for the grupetto.
Elia Viviani of Liquigas may have won the stage but it’s a shame he couldn’t stop and enjoy the party.