Behind the Scenes at the Tour de France…
Posted on: March 5, 2015, by staceyzav
“My name is Jonathan Morgan. I am a 60 year old avid cyclist who is also a Californian, living in San Francisco, Canadian and a Brit. One of my “bucket list” items has been to get to France and see the Tour de France…just stand next to the road and see the peleton rush by at 25 miles per hour…or maybe, if lucky, get a chance to line the Champs Elysee and see the end of the race and the crowning of the Tour’s leaders. That would be the penultimate experience.
Little could I imagine how my dreams were about to change!!
At the end of May I received an e-mail from a dear friend, Steven Gluckstern. We are both rabid hockey fans, me being a Canadian and he a former NHL team owner. I was lamenting to him, via an e-mail message, that the Montreal Canadiens were in a huge hole down 3-1 versus the New York Rangers. His response had nothing to do with hockey, rather it was the following: Want to go to France (July 22-29) and ride as a sort of pre-domestique for the Cannondale team with a dear friend and fellow Ivivi investor? The message caught me completely by surprise and I responded with, Wow. That would be totally cool. What’s the deal? Steven then followed up with the following message: Will send details tomorrow. I am obviously not going but it sounds like a once in a life opportunity for a serious rider like yourself. Within a week he sent me another message which was, “You need to do this!”
So what is “this?” Simply, it was the opportunity, with a small number of folks, in this case two other guys, to take part in a unique cycling adventure: to “embed” with the Cannondale Cycling Team http://www.cannondale.com/gbr/pro_cycling during the last week of the Tour de France. The adventure would start in Toulouse on July 21, which is a rest day, where we would meet the team and pick up bikes being provided to us by the team. The following morning we start three days of Pyrenee mountain top stages, leaving early in the morning, arriving at the finish well in advance of the peleton and team completing the stage. These three days of cycling in the Pyrenees include some of the most iconic climbs in the history of the Tour. After the Pyrenees the plan calls for us to ride a portion of Stage 19, a flat route. The following day we will be in the Cannondale team cars cheering on the cyclists as they compete in the Tour’s only time trial the day before the finish on the Champs Elysee in Paris.
Chasing Atlas, https://chasingatlas.com a travel company founded by Jill Murwin, was invited by the Cannondale Cycling Team to put together this inaugural event. The concept was to create a unique, up close and personal travel event that provides an intimate look at what transpires with a pro cycling team competing at the Tour de France. Jill had a unique perspective because for years she managed all VIP activities on behalf of the U.S. Postal Cycling Team and so was a natural to conceptualize and manage this extraordinary adventure on behalf of both Cannondale and the initial group of participants, including yours truly, Gordon Smith and Dann Byck, the two other guys!! By the way, Dann and Gordon are from Park City, UT…”