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James Lives Every Cyclist’s Dream: Riding The Champs-Élysées

James Lives Every Cyclist’s Dream: Riding The Champs-Élysées

(pumping music) – It’s the final day
of the Tour de France, the world’s biggest bike race. But it’s also a day where I
get to live my childhood dream. (humming) I’ve been given the incredible opportunity to ride the final stage
of the Tour de France. Okay, 30 kilometers of it. And I’ve always wanted to ride into Paris and across the Champs-Élysées. And okay, I didn’t get to
do it as a pro athlete, well now, my dream has become a reality. We’ve been given the opportunity through Oakley to be able
to ride with them on buses and also their sponsored athletes. (exhales) I don’t know how I’ve
been given this invite. No, I know, it’s because
Dan Lloyd was busy. And I get to wear these. (dramatic synth music) The Tour de France is
a big deal to Oakley, a massive percentage of
appellants all wear their glasses. And this year also
coincides with the launch of their latest prism lenses. This is where they
carefully add certain dyes to correct and enhance the
colors that your eyes detect. Specific to the conditions and
demands of different sports. These are the road ones. (dramatic synth music) It’s the final day of the Tour de France, and it’s a day where the riders can relax and kind of reflect on the
last three weeks of racing. But it’s also a chance for a big win, a sprinter’s big win, if you will. It’s often dubbed the World
Championship for the Sprinters. When I started cycling, my dad took me to watch the Tour de France and we chose the final stage
as the one we wanted to see. I watched and met the legends of the sport and now I am going to be rolling down those very cobblestones on
the other side of the barrier. And if you can’t tell already, yeah, I’m incredibly excited. I have to say, it’s a bit strange riding the Tour de France route with police outriders because even us, just fairly normal blokes, are getting to experience the atmosphere that the Tour de France brings. I guess it touches everyone
who’s into cycling. (pumping electronic music) We’ve managed to get
all the Tour de France scooter cars and all the outriders, so I guess this is as
close as it feels like to be in the Tour de France without actually being
in the Tour de France if that makes any sense.
(laughs) I’ve just seen a glimpse of
the top of the Eiffel Tower. It’s been, the riders are
getting super excited. The finish is near. The Champs-Élysées, then the finish line. It’s just a stone throw away. Hoo! Riding into Paris alongside one of the Maverick motorbikes. How cool is that? (inspirational electronic music) Getting closer and closer. The excitement is building. Don’t want to know what
the riders must feel like when they come through in
just a couple hours later. (energetic electronic music) It’s worth noting that the Tour de France hasn’t always finished
on the Champs-Élysées. In 1903, it in was in Ville-d’Avray. In 1904, it then moved
to Parc des Princes. And then in 1968, it
moved to the Vélodrome, the Vélodrome de Vincennes. And that was the Eddie Merckx era, and it wasn’t until 1975 that
it went to Champs-Élysées. (pumping electronic music) Look, this is my own fans right there. (laughs) This is pretty awesome. First taste of Paris
cobbles is across here at the bridge over the river Seine. (pumping electronic music) We’re just riding past the Louvre and on to the Place de la Concorde. (laughs) We’ve already got the fans cheering! Now, the riders are going to be getting seriously excited at this point. And Champs-Élysées is
literally just over there. But at first sight of it, is we’ll see the Luxor Obelisk. And then we know the
finish line’s in sight. (warm electronic music) We’re now on the back side of the course. I’ve got the river Seine on my right and this is fast, smooth tarmac, and the riders are hitting
around 55 k an hour through here. It’s amazing to have such a
quiet road in the hear of Paris. (warm electronic music) Under the bridge of de garden. Now, right in front of me,
I can see the gold statue. The gold statue of Joan of Arc. Once the riders exit the tunnel, they see this iconic statue of Joan of Arc placed here when she was injured trying to take Paris
back from the English. (warm electronic music) Now, if you’re wondering what that is, that is the Luxor Obelisk,
standing 75 feet high and it’s 3,000 years old
and originated from Egypt. In 1933, it was brought to Paris, and three years after that, it was brought over
here by Louis-Phillipe. The Tour hasn’t always finished in a road stage like the one today. It has sometimes been home
to an individual time trial. And if you are into cycling history, you will know of the story
of Greg LeMond back in 1989, where he famously beat
Laurent Fignon by 58 seconds over the 24 kilometer time trial. Greg LeMond using his aero
bars closed the 50-second gap to Fignon and in doing
so won the Tour de France by eight seconds on the final stage, which is still the smallest
winning margin ever in the Tour de France. (warm electronic music) I’m sitting at 26 kilometers
an hour up the Champs-Élysées to the Arc de Triomphe. And I am putting out 350 watts. And I wouldn’t say I’m not heavy, but the riders will be looking for the smooth bit of the road, and it’s these little grooves
where they’re considered, where it’s a little bit smoother. And there, you can save a few watts. This is definitely living
a childhood dream of mine. It’s just incredible being here. I’ve got the Arc de
Triomphe in the distance, the riders will be doing seven after this. It’s truly an amazing feeling. (warm electronic music) Although it doesn’t look like it, it’s quite an incline. The riders will be hitting around 50 to 55 kilometers an hour,
and that is going some! I mean, I’m out of breath talking to you, putting out 300 watts, and I’m only doing 30 kilometers an hour. I’ll tell you what, though, that is one incredible sight. Whoa! (warm electronic music) Wow, what an amazing opportunity, to be able to ride down the Champs-Élysées just before the Tour
de France gets through. Thank you so much to Oakley for giving me this amazing opportunity. Right, if you want some some
more Tour de France content, why don’t you click on these
lovely people over here? (shouting)

99 comments on “James Lives Every Cyclist’s Dream: Riding The Champs-Élysées

  1. .
    Well Done! 😀 Did you forget your horse?
    To feel like your actually finishing the Tour, wouldn't you first have to ride 4 hours a day for 3 weeks?

  2. Will you lot at the GCN (and other Anglosaxon) pleas try to learn some languages? Even I as a Dutch can pronounce these places better then you, and it distracts from your nice videoes. thanks.

  3. I got to ride the Champs-Ėlysées the day before James after cycling, with 140 others, for Alzheimer’s Society from London to Paris over 4 days. Without doubt one of the greatest things I’ve ever done. I even saw James on the Sunday morning and said hello…

  4. Well done Hank! Keep that communicative sense of wonderment you displayed during this trek. You'll grow old way happier. Kudos mate.

  5. It would be a dream to take part in a circuit race on the Champs-Élysées. The day could start with Juniors, Masters, Cat 4's, Cat 3's, and finish with a Cat 1-2 race………They could schedule it so everyone was finished way before the Pro's enter the circuit. ….A full day of racing.

  6. Great video but do you have to butcher every single French name? Just check the pronunciation on Google beforehand. And it goes both ways, I can't stand French people butchering English words either.

  7. I wish you'd ridden the 1903 bike and worn the old kit and the mustache. By all means wear the Oakleys, as they're the sponsor 😎

  8. Darn it. I was going to have a weekend in Paris but I succumbed to your Coral Gambling advert and lost £742. Thanks for nothing.

  9. Well you should've worked harder when you were a pro, then you'd have been there in the peloton.
    Many riders inferior to you made it.

  10. only 30km/h at 300 watts? Damnit I need to look into my FTP numbers again. I've soloed rides with average speed equal to that for 20+ kms

  11. This isn't cycling, it is a pack of riders who want to experience the dreams even they are too old, or haven't got a hope in hell to experience the real deal. Nothing wrong with that, but I have more respect for the average cyclists who were out in droves from 06.00 onward on rentals, they're every day transport and also on their sporting goods.

  12. I rode this route back in 2017 for a cancer charity. Best part was where we did a lead out for the organiser of the whole ride as we came to the end. Excellent experience

  13. This would be awesome! I was disappointed as I expected so much more from this video. But the whole idea of being able to ride the final stage of the Tour is an fascinating one.

  14. quick question – why on the 2017 tour of britain did James Lowsley-Williams come up with DSQ on stage 4. James, you naughty boy!

  15. 2:04 Gets the chance to ride the final stage of Tour de France and wears a pair of FUCKING SNEAKERS, the nerve.

  16. A lot of videographers would change positions so as not to give exposure to people or groups in the background. HUGE props to GCN for giving the Velonuts crew some love!! That's classy!

  17. "Under the bridge of the garden.." Edit "now I can see the statue…
    Did you just chickened out of pronouncing "of the Tuileries" ? Or was it so horrible an attempt it had to be edited for diplomatic reasons ? ^^

  18. Whenever you are visiting Paris, any early morning, specially the weekend, take a bike, rent one, and go for it, you can hit high speed going down to Concorde, repeat it as much as you can, acceleration on pavements is just great 🙂

  19. 2013 I rode London to Paris and arrived the day before the tour, went round the Arc de Triomphe , down the Champs Elysee and on to the Eiffel Tower. I can remember it like it was yesterday. Truly one of those moments in life I will never forget. Awesome.

  20. Just shows how important Oakley and Whoop amongst others think that the GCN channel is. Superb year of great videos, with great ex-pro riders. Hats off, also to past presenters such as Emma and Matt in the elevation of this channel so far above others.

  21. Ironically I notice Bernal on the podium covering up the “ineos” on his hat with his shades thinking that was a mistake. Then I realized that it wasn’t about the ineos sponsorship, it was the Oakley’s he was showing off. 😎

  22. C'mon GCN.. could've came up with better title for the video. How about "Hank's dream come true" or something like that. Awesome experience for Hank tho.. haha truly one of bucket list item…

  23. Love the video. It was fun to see Hank’s excitement. It’s the excitement we would have had in the same position.

    It would have a different feeling if Dan had done the video which still have been cool- it likely would have been a lot of Dan’s recollections of his time doing the Tour which would be a neat perspective. It’s a version of the video I wouldn’t have minded seeing even though there would be a number of when I was in the Cervelo Test Team. It would be neat to contrast that with Hank’s excitement of doing the route for the first time.

  24. what a lucky guy you are James…just quit talking and pretend to be Caleb or Greipel…btw to sprint in that cobles? now i'm sure they were beast.haha

  25. Who is that Elisa ? 😀😀😀😁😁😁
    Did they leave James as a backmarker ???
    Why didnt James win ?

  26. I would love to do that for a mate of mine who would died this year due to a car hitting him. Car went through a red light. He was a top bloke who was a bike nut, but a nice one. He would be able to talk you around a 100km ride with no issues. I am riding the Col de Tourmalet later in the year for him and hoping to glue a NZ coin at the top in his honour.

  27. Man, that’s a dream come true! Congratulations James! You seem like a nice enough fellow, so it’s great to see you having such a great time with the new job. Cheers!

  28. I’ve done the same track around the Chanps with my colleagues, and with Cadel Evans and Fabian Cancellara. It was an event I will never forget!

  29. I got some oakleys with ‘prism trail’ lens the other week. (Not because of the lens, just because I liked the look) I cant believe a lens can do that to my vision! It’s like I see in HD 😂 roots and branches etc proper ‘pop’ when out riding. Never would’ve bought into the hype intentionally and would’ve been sceptical but I’m 100% sold. Even brightens things up when riding early evening. I don’t wanna take them off! The worlds a dull place after you take them off 😂 defo interested to see/try some other prism lenses 👍🏻

  30. For a minute there I thought James' dream had turned in to Dan's reality – getting dropped and coming in miles behind the rest of the peleton.

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