“ It was mega ”, says auto motor und sport reader Alexander Koerfer,“ it's unbelievable how close you are to the Tour de France comes close to the athletes. ”And it is just as amazing what the drivers are doing. Day after day. The 29-year-old from Düsseldorf can understand the suffering of the professional cyclists. Because Koerfer, a business consultant in the civilian profession, is practically an enthusiastic triathlete, on the long haul. A few weeks ago he finished the Ironman in Roth in exactly eleven hours - a top performance in the amateur field.
Uwe Kreißig from Chemnitz, reader of auto motor und sport's sister journal AUTOStraßenverkehr, also has experience in endurance sports. As a cycling amateur (Kreißig: 'But only in the C-team') the literary scholar competed and suffered various cycling races. Koerfer and Kreiffekt benefited from this experience in the VIP program that tour sponsor Skoda had devised for the winners of the competition. Because the excursion into the mountains began early in the morning. At 6 o'clock Andy Schleck, 2010 tour winner, asked for the one-hour “Early Bird Ride”.
Tour winner without cycling shoes
20 kilometers, spiced with 400 meters of altitude, were on the program . A blob for sports fans, even on an empty stomach. Ex-professional Schleck had forgotten his cycling shoes. “Doesn't matter, I'll just ride in sneakers,” grinned the Luxembourger and shared anecdotes from everyday professional life. For example, as a fan knocked him over on the climb to Alpe d’Huez: 'Accidentally, of course.'
The twelfth stage of the tour was 175.5 kilometers long, peppered with three passes and 4500 meters of altitude. And at the end the legendary climb to Alpe d'Huez was on. While the professionals were in bondage, the Skoda VIP group traveled alternately in a helicopter or in the spacious Superb. Highlights of the day: the drive through the dense line of people right in front of the professionals on the 'Mountain of the Dutch'. The last few kilometers were torture for the drivers, especially since a few jokes set Bengalos on fire. So the air to breathe became even scarcer. It's unbelievable what the drivers did - and how relentless the fans partied.