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Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Tour de...

...France Stratford.

On Monday London was a hive of excitement as the 'Stage 3' part of the event was ending in London. Even more exciting was the fact that the race was passing right by our office so we had the perfect vantage point (especially as the weather turned a bit grim).

The day had started out so lovely - lots of sunshine and everyone was in a really good mood...
 ...and there were 'high-viz' jackets everywhere getting ready for the crowds.
The Broadway and the main road were closed off from 10am although buses were still allowed to run on the bus-lane, albeit in the wrong direction...
 ...hence this gap in the gathering crowds which gave a clear view across.
However, all the sponsor vehicles and 'floats' started whizzing through nearly 3 hours before the cyclists were due...
 ...and boy were they going at a speed...
...it was really hard to focus on vehicles before they disappeared out of shot...
 ...I ended up with an awful lot of pictures of the Chinese restaurant across the road and not a lot else...
 ...this was one of the few vehicles that actually stopped for a moment to 'pelt' the crowds with merchandise. Most of the freebies had been thrown earlier by vehicles zooming through at a rate of knots - packs of Yorkshire tea bags and Haribo sweets can certainly pack a punch as some of my colleagues can attest to.
The weather started to turn rather nasty and news was that the riders were still quite some way from London. It didn't seem to deter the Nando's Chicken...
 ...it followed folk around and stopped for photo opportunities...
...even when the rain was coming down pretty hard. A lot of the crowd headed off to find places to shelter...
 ...and as you can see, the road surface became pretty wet.
Someone from the other side of our building announced that they could see the riders near the Orbit...
 ...and suddenly the front runners were zooming through followed by a motorcycle escort...
 ...and then a fairly long...NOTHING!!!
Then the cheers went up and the main body of riders were whizzing by...
 ...gosh they were going fast...
 ...way too fast to really focus in on them...
...they were just zipping by...
...and then they were gone. In just a few seconds they had been there in front of me and then gone.
 This happy chap caused laughter and applause as he brought up the rear...
...he was obviously just happy to tag along behind after all the support vehicles had made their way through.

I was rather disappointed by the way the floats had whizzed though earlier as there was certainly no chance of them holding up the riders - if you blinked you missed them. However, it was fun to be this close to such a widely covered event.

Tuesday morning saw lots of photos of the crowds from along the route and when I spoke to my boss she told me she had been at Finchingfield in Essex to watch the event. She had been standing on a post to get a better view - I'm still trying to find her on the photo that appeared in the Metro newspaper LOL...............................................................

5 comments:

Chidkid said...

Well the photos may not be the best you've ever taken (although they're not terrible) but they certainly show that you did not miss the event..and you didn't get wet!

Sandra said...

You had a great vantage point though ... Ok they were going fast but you were lucky to be in the dry lol.

Claire said...

Wow, you had a fab view.
C xx

Redanne said...

It is a shame about the cars whizzing by, I guess we expect that from the riders but not the cars! At least you have some photos to show that you saw part of the race, I envy you that! Thanks so much for your visit and comment. Anne xx

scrappyjen said...

oh I love my cycling! well, not that i do it myself any more... but man it is a grand sport to watch! Missed it through Yorkshire which caused me a great deal of distress!!!! I think we did the tour proud with all the crowds and enthusiasm. Someone shared a video with me of the team sky cars doing a drive through the route on Day one and you really don't realise how many people were there in comparison to other locations. The team sky support driver man person got out of the car and spoke to someone in the crowd... he must ahve been having a break... and he said it was absolutely unbelievable. He had never seen so many people lining the route for a race. He said 'There must be millions man!" Watching it live on TV compared with other tours I have watched, I have to agree! There was no part of the route without a person (or a thousand) watching! Can you tell I like my cycling as much as my scrapping? jenx