It’s funny, the French word for “experienced” is “experimenté”. Kind of like you have experimented a lot and maybe learned something along the way. Following the Tour as it has grown immensely over the past two decades, we have certainly learned from our experiences. To keep getting better, we have not only had to remember what didn’t work, but have kept looking for that elusive “best approach” to hitting the constantly shifting target of the event’s on-the-road craziness.
Sometimes it takes couple of whacks with the hammer to remember to keep the fingers clear. Back in the early 90s, we were stuck getting off Alpe d’Huez due to a car catching fire and blocking the only road out. Two years later, our path was blocked again. Just half-way down the mountain, the race’s big screen semi had smashed into a truck in front of it! This is before we had race DVDs. That night, a couple of hours of our chauffeur’s Little Mermaid VHS tape was enough for everyone.
From then on, we shuttled everyone off the Alpe in helicopters (Kevin Livingston above left, leading the charge).
Looking at our 2010 programs, I think they reflect what we’ve learned, both about the race and about what is of value to our guests. A trip can’t do it all, but it should have a little of everything. Ultimately, I know that every year we provide our guests great memories and a good feel for what the world’s biggest race is really about. And that’s what twenty years of experience brings.