For professional athletes, coming home is always a special moment. But being able to separate from the pack in the Tour de France and wave to your friends and family? Now that’s something else.
It’s also exactly what Alexis Vuillermoz was able to do while biking through his hometown of Saint-Claude, before the final climb of Stage 8. The hometown hero smiled and waved in what was clearly a very meaningful moment.
You’ll also notice a ton of Pikachu signs and costumes in the background. That’s Vuillermoz’s nickname, which he earned from racing in yellow helmets in the past.
It’s just another great show of sportsmanship from one of the world’s most grueling sporting events. Allowing the native Frenchmen to ride ahead of the peloton through or near their hometown is a traditional practice. Racers put aside their competitive ambitions for a few moments. What a moment for Vuillermoz.