Saturday, 7 July 2007

The Grand Depart

I`ve always been a cycling nut.

At School I rode for the school's track cycling team and was always on a bike in my spare time. It was nothing to ride 70/80 miles a day at the weekend or travel down to Whitstable or Herne Bay for the day.

But Fags, Booze, and Girls (in that order) put pay to the cycling, but I continued to be interested in the sport and read about it.

One ambition was to one day see the Tour de France live, either in the Alps, Pyrenees or on the Champs Elysees but like they say life sometimes gets in the way.

Today I finally got the chance to see the Tour not in France but here in London.

The streets around central London were absolutely packed, I can't believe that so many people are interested in a cycle race, in most places along the route it was 3-4 people deep and the crowds in the parks watching the big screens were massive.

As this was the prologue; it wasn't a case of waiting for a couple of hours and then 189 riders whizzing by. It was a leisurely 7.9 km race against the clock and each rider going on their own, so we got to see them all, in a little under 3 hours although the buggers still whizzed by.

Before the racing starts the sponsors go round the course advertising their wears, most of the sponsors are European so a lot are unheard of in the U.K. This was one part of the whole Tour I was disappointed in as the sponsors normally give out freebies to the crowds. Toay the freebies seemed a bit thin on the ground, mainly a few pens and inflatable hands; although this didn't stop two people close to me fighting over an inflatable.

We were hoping for a British winner today in the Prologue; with either Bradley Wiggins or David Millar but unfortunately Wiggins was only 4th and Millar 13th

Other than that London had a great day for the Tour.

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