"Alencon, it will always mean something to me"
Bob Hebert is an American who lives in North Carolina and works as a business school professor [well, actually a business school librarian]. While spending his vacation in France, he has followed the start of "The Big Loop" [i.e., the Tour] in Brittany. Tuesday he was in Alencon, a city with which he was not familiar except that he knew it was located along the "Route of Liberty" in August 1944.
Behind the barricades, Bob, who speaks French remarkably well, was anticipating with interest the result for the American team Motorola: "I hope they'll have a good result, because today is Independence Day in the U.S." There were two of his countrymen in the peloton, most notably the young Lance Armstrong.
So why was he in Alencon? "Because of the Tour de France!" Logical...Bob did not know much about Alencon but he knew of Jacques Hebert, the French Revolution leader who was born here...And Jean Flais, who used to be the vice mayor in charge of promotion told him about another "Hebert" who was mayor of Alencon just after the Second World War. And there right next to us was the statue of Leclerc. Bob knew about the general...but he didn't forget to mention Patton. The Motorola team passed by the on the Pont Neuf, just like Ciroux and Leclerc's boys did on August 12, 1944...But Bob had to catch the train headed for Blois: "Now, Alencon, it will always mean something to me."