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Tour DuPont Rolls Into Raleigh

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RALEIGH — May 3, 1996 - 4 p.m. EDTBy TOM LAWRENCE, WRAL-TV5

It's a first for Raleigh and North Carolina's Triangle area. Tour DuPont!

The city has been preparing for the cyclists for months, and today big crowds turned out downtown to enjoy beautiful weather and the race. I decided to join them. Using WRAL Online's Kodak DC-50 digital camera, I want to show you some things you won't see on the international television broadcast.

Blaring music filled the area as folks who've never seen a cycle race milled about.

Others watched the progress on "Big Mo," the gigantic screen television set up in a Raleigh Civic and Convention Center parking lot.

Overnight, a big bridge was built over Salisbury street in downtown Raleigh. That's where the announcers work and the finish line is just past it.

Waiting for these guys is tedious. Here you've built up this expectation; the announcer is telling you what's going on miles away and everyone's crowding to the rails lining the finish line for a spot.

No use waiting here! Let's check out some bikes.

Word comes the racers are nearing, but they're almost twenty minutes later than the expected 1:15 p.m. finish. Let's see whether I can get a shot of the finish ofStage 3a!

Not quite! This is the kind of racing where the crowd makes all the noise. Cycle racers are in such good shape you never hear them huff and puff.

More than a hundred miles today, and just two hours to the time trials

When the day's over these, the racers head for the chow line and think about Stage 4, from Raleigh to Greensboro.

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