If the Tour de France should pass a rider's hometown, it is OK for the rider to go ahead, take a detour, then come back to the race. No one will complain.
That happened in 1998, said Frankie Andreu, a former teammate of Armstrong's in the U.S. Postal Service group and now a television commentator.
Andreu recalled that Sean Yates, a talented Irish rider, was allowed to ride ahead to his hometown when the Tour began in Ireland. "Sean saw his parents, was cheered by his friends, had a glass of Champagne and then rejoined thepeloton [the lead pack] when it got to his town," Andreu said.
"It was just understood. That was something nice to do. Of course, it's also understood that the rider will wait forthepeloton to arrive. He won't take off ahead of time." -- LA Times