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Velocipede Verses #15: Allez! Allez! To the Champs-Élysées!


I'm an avid cyclist who has ridden 30,000+ miles over the past seven years. I enjoy sharing the little I know with interested others.


Every Tour de France fan alive

Knows that since 1975

They ride that last day

Toward the Champs-Élysées

Champagne it’ll flow

And we already know

Who won the big race

So it’s a casual pace

The maillot jaune

Is his and his alone

As the riders cruise along

It’s like dancing, wine and song

A gentleman’s agreement for all time

I won’t steal yours and you shan’t steal mine

Until the last laps

Then they close the gaps

Zip past

So fast


The Arc de Triomphe

Whirs by

The fans cry

And scream

'Cause one dream

Is left to pursue

If you

Secure this victory

You’ll make history

Forever remembered

A variety

Of notoriety

That is rare

Not many up there

Riders who’ve won

Even one

Single stage

You’re all the rage

For winning this one

The last one

Of this year’s Tour

And now you’re

On a Wiki online

Starting today and for all time

As you stand up there

In the rarefied air

On the podium

Heartbeat a drum

Grin a kilometer wide

Two and three by your side

But a step below

For 'place' and 'show'

And you’re all so proud

As you wave to the crowd

In the shadow of the Arc

As you leave your mark

For all eternity

I wish I could be

That guy

That rider

Sky high

Like a glider



All day

On two wheels

Glasses a sporty tint

Giving a grunting, massive sprint

For the win

Then I’d do it again

Gluttony’s a sin

But I’d still be hungry

For the cobbles

To feel my bike roll and wobble

On the Champs-Élysées

Pulling away

From the peloton

And if I won

I’d want to go on

And do it again


Like a picture of a mirror

In a mirror



That’s me

Can’t lose

So I choose

To repeat

Victory’s sweet

Legs pumping

Heart thumping

Don’t look back

Hope the mirror doesn’t crack

Stage 21 - Tour de France, 20 September 2020

© 2020 greg cain


Liz Westwood from UK on November 21, 2020:

I have been trying to get here for a while, scanning my feed page to find the article. I really enjoyed your poem. It captures the scene very well. The Tour de France and the other European bike races have done well in carrying on against the odds this year. But the final stage of the Tour in Paris is unique. Excellent illustrations too.

greg cain (author) from Moscow, Idaho, USA on November 14, 2020:

John - same here. I watch every year, was particularly glad they were able to do it safely this year, even though it was later in the year than normal. The scenery is pretty spectacular, for sure. And this last day on the Champs-Élysées had its own breathtaking scenery as they blow by the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe and other iconic places in Paris. Good weekend and be safe, my friend.

greg cain (author) from Moscow, Idaho, USA on November 14, 2020:

Eric - thanks, friend. I only wish it reminded me of my own competition days! Haha! Additionally, I’ve only ever been able to see the inside of the Paris airport on my way to and from Germany. One day my bride and I will go stay and play on the Champs-Élysées. I hope so, anyway. Be well, and have a good weekend.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on November 13, 2020:

Wonderful Greg, that would be the ultimate dream for a cyclist. I often watch the Tour de France. Love the scenery.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on November 13, 2020:

Such a great piece. Just the whole darn thing was great. Reminds me of my competition days and girls when I lived there.

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