Tour de France 2004 Stage 18 - Annemasse to Lons-le-Saunier

Today we left Grenoble and departed for Beaune where we will spend the next 2 nights. We rode on the bus to the stage about an hour from Beaune and got our bikes to ride the last big climb of the stage. There was a category 4 climb at the end and we planned to ride from the stage finish to the 20km to go banner and back going over this climb both ways. Unfortunately for us the climb was an absolute brute going opposite of the race. At least twice as steep than the other side so I would say we did a category 3 and a category 4 climb. :-)

It was great countryside and we turned to head back. We cut the time a little short though and the jandams (the Frnech cops that line much of the route) kept on stopping us in the last 5k making us walk. It turned out to just be a section as we got on after a while and were able to get back into town.

The stage finish was extremely crowded. We waited in the finishing chute and saw the riders come through there. It was an interesting spot to be in since they weren't going crazy fast which resulted in some nice photos.