Andy Schleck coming up the last 500m of Col du Tourmalet with Alberto Contador in his shadow.

The Col du Tourmalet stage was set to be the big showdown between Shleck and Contador, and it didn’t disappoint.

Drove out of my hotel at 7am and headed straight for La Mongie, which is the ski village on the other side of Col du Tourmalet to the finish line. Every single person had the exact same idea because I have never seen so many caravans in my life. It was pouring rain all morning and I had a 5km walk and at least a 5 hour wait after that until the riders came so I stayed in the car for as long as possible. Eventually left at around midday and made my way up and then over the other side and down to about 500m from the finish line. Thank god I brought an umbrella with me.

Waited there with a big bunch of Aussies and New Zullanders. Was good being able to speak to people while waiting, the time goes much faster. It was also quite strange because it wasn’t nearly as crowded as other stages ive been to, and this one is the queen stage of the entire TdF. They also only allowed spectators on one side of the road.

So five hours or so passed and the riders were about to approach. The typical thing happened and everyone started creeping further and further across the road. If only people realised that if you just all stood back you would all actually get a better view and have more room. First two up the climb wasn’t a surprise, Schleck and Contador. I got a great photo of Schleck but unfortunately Contador is directly behind him so you cant see him. Riders kept trickling through for the next thirty minutes or so and I snapped away until it was all over.

Then came the fun part, getting back to the car and driving back. As good as the TdF people are at organising getting to the stages and having parking etc, they absolutely suck at being able to get people out of the finishes. I got back to my car and left at 7:30pm, I only had to drive 55km to my hotel, and it took two hours. Epic. Fail.

Back at the hotel and I dumped my photos to laptop then packed up all my stuff. Drove out in the morning back to the airport, returned the car, checked in for my flight, got to Paris, and now im in the hotel ready for some sleep.