The annual Tour de France road-cycling classic provides townspeople and villagers en-route with the chance to enjoy a day's holiday festivities when the competitors pass through.
The annual Tour de France road-cycling classic provides townspeople and villagers en-route with the chance to enjoy a day's holiday festivities when the competitors pass through. To show something of this holiday atmosphere, Visnews cameraman Jean Poignonec travelled to the northern town of Roubaix near the Belgian border.
SYNOPSIS: The town of Roubaix in one of France's northern textile districts near the Belgian border last task enjoyed the carnival atmosphere which surrounds the Tour-de-France road cycling classic.
Like dozens of other villages and towns on the race route, a local holiday is observed on the day the competitors are due to pass through on their way.
Traffic control is important on day like these to ensure there's no hindrance to the competitors.
Race and advertising publicity vans are out in force, and build up the atmosphere with their blaring speakers.
Young hopefuls wait patiently for first sight of the cyclists.
This view is typical of all the inhabitants may see as the race passes through their district. These competitors passed out of sight of the camera position in only 20 seconds.
The one brief glimpse they've had of the race may be over, but the holiday atmosphere continues as the crowd leaves to enjoy a spot of refreshment of browse around some of the small stalls specially set up to cater for their pleasure.
Each year the route of the Tour-de-France is varied, not only for the competitors, but also to give as many towns as possible an opportunity to enjoy the associated festivities. It's a holiday the locals enjoy.