David Brown, Nate Brown’s father, is a Delta Airlines pilot. He flew a Boeing 767 to Paris on Saturday so that he could watch his son ride onto the Champs Elysees on Sunday.
We dare you not to tear up as you read the latest lovely tale from Caley Fretz for VeloNews.
David Brown stood above the Place de la Concorde and watched as the peloton whipped past again and again until it stopped and the skinny kid he put on a 650c steel Miyata with downtube shifters 17 years ago became a Tour de France finisher.
Nate Brown carried a polka-dot jersey in his bag for three weeks, rolled up in a corner and tucked away safe. He has a pile of them from two days at the top of the climber’s competition, short sleeve jerseys and long sleeve jerseys and dotted vests. This one was set aside.
As the Tour rolled to a halt, David Brown walked down from the Delta Airlines VIP box looking out over the race and made his way toward Cannondale-Drapac’s green and black team bus. “Pas possible,” a French gendarme said when he tried to cross the fence without any accreditation. Not possible. The Champs-Élysées was on lockdown. Brown pulled out his Tennessee driver’s license and pointed to his last name. “Nathan Brown is my son,” he said. He’d flown a Boeing 767 full of passengers to Paris for this moment. The policeman smiled, checked over his shoulder, pulled back a small section of the fence, and pointed the way.