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Tour de Force

simonsaunders's picture
on Sun, 03/08/2014 - 20:19

Well, it's all over and done with now. Indeed due to my slow editing skills, we've even had the Commonwealth games come and go since the Tour De France graced England's shores.

That said, it's given us all time to reflect on the Tour and the 3 weeks of happenings on and off the bike. How was it for you?

It all started a while a go didn't it?  Not the Tour, but the build-up. Many in the club talked about it on Sunday rides, the fallout from not including Wiggins and Kennaugh in the Sky Team - would it come back to haunt them?  The Velogames war of words built to a frenzy, members as far away as New Zealand involved. Last minute swaps, rethinks, reswaps etc. Even if HMCC didn't turn out any racers, it's got about 25 Directeur Sportifs ready to roll.....

Lots of club members wanted to be part of the action, some in France watching- some riding the Etape; others just watching whilst the race came close by in Yorkshire. A plan was hatched that some of us would ride across from Lancashire to Yorkshire- aiming for Buttertubs, the main climb of Stage 1. Also heading there were various other club members, which resulted in a fair old crowd of teh HMCC faithful amassing in the area.

For those of us who rode across it was a great experience, fantastic roads, great route courtesy of Wilko and lots and lots and lots of cyclists on the roads, on all sorts of bikes! A concocted a video of the experience which you can see below

 

So how was it.? For me, my first time as a roadside tour spectator, it was a crazy, mad, fantastic world of a mad party atmosphere with kids, adults, bikes (bikes everywhere) and flags. The lunacy of the Tour Caravan, the joy of people chasing small rubber keyrings, the quietness of the walk up the summit with Mark Brownett, the noise of the massed fans as the riders approached. The cheap horrible burgers, the boxes of wine. It's hard to sum up in a sensible way- but it was bloody brilliant!

So the Tour itself. Well i think it went to a worthy winner, but a winner who was fortunate that his rivals didn't show-up. The sadness of Cav, of Froome of Contador as they all gradually ditched. The grit of Geraint Thomas, the decline of Richie Porte, the rise of the French- the dominance of the Germans. The perpetual second place of Peter Sagan. The nightly catch-ups, the obsessive (for me) reading of cycling websites. The photography, the impressive images, some from the fans themselves others from the riders, below is a selection of my favourites

 

 

And if any of you are so inclined and didn't listen to the ITV4 radio podcasts, you missed the bloody funny impressions of Nibali as a South Londoner then go to the ITUNEs store and find the Stage 19 ITV4 Tour de France podcast.  https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/itv-tdf-stage-19-2014/id163658288?i=316862466&mt=2

That'll do I think, I need to get back to reality and my wife!

I hope you enjoy the video.

Comments

stevedepport's picture

Simon, great video, a brilliant job. I am so sorry now that i missed thus trip.

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