Photography by Dave Hayward
Nimes in France was the destination and the start of the Tour da Vuelta in September. The journey to Nimes wasn't without the first issues of the Tour. One of the riders found his luggage didn't make it. True to form everybody chipped in to supply Hayden replacement cycling clothes. Luckily for him, his bike had traveled overland in one of the support vans. Ahead of the riders starting from the Roman amphitheater in Nimes were looking forward to their last 3500 kilometers of cycle one day ahead of the professional cycling teams, to finish in Madrid 3 weeks later.
Southern Spain Beaches and Sun Rises
From France, south through Andorra.
As the riders moved down the east coast the flat roads were disappearing fast with soaring temperatures. From the busy cost roads populated with tourists through the resorts to the barren landscapes only populated with olive groves, mixed with poultry farming to deserted villages, and housing estates half built.
Inland, the only rush hour traffic were local goat herders moving further up the mountains
Early morning mist moves away to reveal the wind farms scattered around the mountains.
If it's not the heat the sudden drop in temperature followed by rain added to the dramas of the days.
A truly wet and miserable day, 5 hours of cold rain not helping
The moment when the last climb was beaten
The guys looking forward to a flat run into Madrid, no more mountains to get over, no more rain to ride through, just keeping the emotion in check to meet the families.