No Ordinary Road

Monday, 26 November 2012

Grey Skies France

What do you think of the place above? The grey skies and the truck are obvious, a dull place on a dull day.

Look again and you can see the road is drying out, the dark parts bear witness to damp weather and suggest a rough surface where the water can briefly shelter from the breeze. Then look at the houses, they look economical and their steel shutters are closed, are they vacant? Weeds line the side of the road.

The image is from Google’s Street view. It’s a road somewhere in France, the kind of place that tourists avoid and you probably want to avoid. But tomorrow I’ll show just how different things can be.

al November 26, 2012 at 6:31 pm

OK I’ll go first…
I’m guessing a stage like Saint dié des Vosges – or maybe the start in the Territoire de Belfort


Owen Rogers November 26, 2012 at 9:42 pm

St Dié is a good shout.
Big timber town surrounded by perfect motorcycling roads and not far from great wine country.

Randy November 26, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Alpe d’Huez?

Dave November 26, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Oh crumbs, this is going to be a long 2weeks if they’re all like this! 😉

TheBrr November 26, 2012 at 9:13 pm

hhahah nice one. I am sure we are in for a treat over Inrng’s holiday.

bluesky November 26, 2012 at 8:06 pm

naked cyclists ?

jj November 26, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Michele Ferrari meeting Johan B for a cup of coffee?

Hylke November 26, 2012 at 8:55 pm

My 2 cents are on a back street of Bourg d’Oisans

Sidamo November 26, 2012 at 10:16 pm

Those hills in the background are far too low for it to be Bourg.

Feels more like up North. Paris-Roubaix or something along those lines?

AK November 26, 2012 at 11:15 pm

The hills are too low to be Alps, but too high to be north of Paris. I would guess something in the Vosges or maybe massif Central. And, because of the intro, surely an important spot in an upcoming Tour stage.

RocksRootsRoad November 26, 2012 at 9:09 pm

Velodrome or Service Course?

Batman November 26, 2012 at 9:58 pm

Can’t say I explored all of Bourg d’Oisans but didn’t look big enough for a truck distribution venue like the one shown…

Ross November 26, 2012 at 10:11 pm

Bernard Hinault’s house?

Martin Larner November 26, 2012 at 10:48 pm

I’m guessing Michele Ferrari used to pull up there in his camper van to wait for Lance…

jkeltgv November 26, 2012 at 11:37 pm

Right hand side of the picture suggests logistics for stage start or finish… big boring areas the Tour needs for the rest of the circus – village for press, team buses, sponsors, competition winners, works…and Ben Stiller.

ferg November 27, 2012 at 12:09 am

Somewhere near the Ardeche on the way to Mont Ventoux or maybe Vaison la Romaine? Definitely a Sunday….

divporter November 27, 2012 at 12:19 am

I’m pretty sure that’s where Cav crashed in one of the stages Greipel won.

Crankyheart November 27, 2012 at 2:18 am

Perhaps this is where inrng is vacationing. In which case, I sincerely recommend we pass the hat to finance a proper holiday for him/her.

Crankyheart November 27, 2012 at 2:20 am

Perhaps this is where inrng is vacationing. In which case, I respectfully recommend we pass the hat to finance a proper holiday for him/her.

Crankyheart November 27, 2012 at 2:22 am

Sorry about the repeat post.

thom November 27, 2012 at 4:18 am

That road kinda has the look of a finishing sprint to me. Not perfect with the fence and houses on one side, but still looks like a straightaway for a sprint finish for some reason. There’s gonna be a finish line banner right there, just wait.

BC November 27, 2012 at 4:29 am

Best guess is Massif Central, damp, wet and hilly with some industrial areas on the southern and northern fringes – somewhere like St Flour. In truth it has the looke of many French towns !

John November 27, 2012 at 5:03 am

While this could be a backroad of a small village in Provence, it sure as heck isn’t the lovely city of Vaison le Romaine, or at least not the bits I saw. Plus, that town is nestled on the edge of a steep ravine, and this seems quite flat, though with big hills in the distance.

And the perspective is all wrong for Bourg d’Oisans – the mountains tower over that town. If the horizon were the Alps, this would have to be halfway to Genoble.

John November 27, 2012 at 5:25 am

It’s sure looks like the profile of Ventoux all right, but doesn’t seem to be shot from Vaison – the perspective seems wrong – it would seem much closer from there. This shot seems farther away and to the south of Vaison. Almost like from Aix-en-Provence. Maybe that’s too far.

Cevenol November 27, 2012 at 6:40 am

I’d say around le Ventoux too. Definitely looks meridional…
But tourists don’t want to avoid Ventoux…too high for ardennes…too low for proper alpes, alpilles…Ventoux!

Patrick November 27, 2012 at 10:16 am

Here’s a picture of a needle, now find the haystack!

Patrick November 27, 2012 at 10:52 am

I’m completely stumped, I had an inkling it might be somewhere the Tour passed through this year, maybe a feed zone or a sprint point. I guess I’ll just wait and see.

Ben B November 27, 2012 at 10:58 am

It looks very much like Ventoux in the background, and a lot closetr than Aix-en-provence. Even coming out of Bedoin on Route de Mont Ventoux, it doesn’t look that big:

regsf November 27, 2012 at 9:29 pm

It’s probably Provence-a Maritime Alps region. You can generally tell a region of France by tile type and roof pitch. More chance of snow, steeper pitches on the roofs. Also different tile types.

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