Kick off Tour de France view­ing at home­town hero’s cy­cling shop

Austin American-Statesman - - AUSTIN360BETS - — Pam Le­Blanc

Itch­ing to chalk up the streets like a real Tour de France fan? Want to dress like wacky Euro­pean bike rac­ing fans? Crav­ing a crêpe or baguette sandwich?

The 97th Tour de France kicks off this week­end, and the Austin bike shop owned by seven-time tour win­ner Lance Arm­strong is host­ing a cel­e­bra­tion.

Among the high­lights of to­day’s bash? A photo booth where you can pose with other cy­clists in the race pelo­ton or climb­ing the French Alps, a “King of the Moun­tain” climb­ing wall, hourly raf­fles for bike gear, mu­sic, a paint­ing wall, adult bev­er­ages and a Public­ité Car­a­van that will shower guests with trin­kets and sam­ples. Beer, wine and cham­pagne will be avail­able, and the store (which has a new Ra­dio Shack Store in­side it) will stay open un­til 9 p.m. Oui! When it gets dark, the Pro­logue, tak­ing place in Rotterdam, The Nether­lands, and the first in­di­vid­ual time trial of the Tour will be shown on a big screen in the park­ing lot.

The TV at the store will be tuned to the Tour through­out July. “Come in for a cof­fee and see what the owner has in his legs,” screams a flier an­nounc­ing the events. An­other party is planned for Stage 17. Let’s hope Arm­strong is a top con­tender.

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