After not visiting stage 1 in Düsseldorf because I’ve been racing myself (In equally bad conditions), I was back on scene for stage 2. On their way to Liège, the riders passed through the city of Aachen, where I waited for them.
Although the antics of the Vittel girls with their spray guns were a welcomed distraction while the crowds waited for the race, it was also a sign of what was to come. Dead on time with the broadcast helicopters it started pouring. And soon, despite numerous umbrellas present, quite a few spectators were as drenched as the riders as they passed by.
Under thundering applause and frenetic cheering they rushed past the crowd and soon the magic was over. Once the riders were out of side the crowd dispersed quickly. A few souvenirs were collected and everybody hurried to get out of the rain. Still a great collective enjoyment was had and the Tour had spread its fascination.