This Sunday afternoon we headed into Central London for a change to watch the Tour of Britain Cycle Race. OH is a bit of a fan of cycling and is always watching one race or other on the TV be it the Giro D'Italia, Tour de France, or the Vuelta. So it was lovely to be able to head out and actually watch a race live and actually see the cyclists in action.
We parked the car near St Paul's and wandered down to watch part of the race as it passed nearby. It was great to see the cyclists come past at speed, followed by the support cars with their spare bikes on top. They did numerous circuits of the same course, so you could see them coming round and round. I took a couple of photos at this point, but they were cycling so fast and my camera is so slow, most of them turned out to be just a blur. Here were the leaders of the Pelaton passing.
From there, we decided to catch a bus further towards Whitehall where the race ended, to see if we could get there for the finish. We got on a bus, but the traffic was gridlocked. The poor bus driver didn't seem to have been informed that there was a cycle race in Central London and when we told him it at least explained why his journey had taken over an hour longer than usual. He wasn't a happy bunny.
We decided to get off the bus, as we were going nowhere slowly, and went on foot the rest of the way along the embankment where the race was taking place. We saw all the cyclists come past a couple more times. There were thousands of people there to watch, many more than OH had seen when he'd come to watch the race a couple of years before, which just goes to show how much the sport has increased in popularity in recent years.
I managed to get this photo of the leaders, as they set out on the last circuit. You can see Bradley Wiggins in third place behind his Sky teammates.
We carried on towards the finish, but unfortunately didn't make fast enough progress and missed the finish itself, although I doubt we would have got right to the line anyway.
We did get to the finish in time for the presentations though, whereby we finally found out who'd won the stage and were really pleased that it was Mark Cavendish. We couldn't get near enough to the stage to take any pictures as all access was blocked as soon as the area was full, but could just about see the proceedings on the big screen.
The atmosphere generally on the day was great. Very friendly and relaxed. Not too crowded along the embankment that you couldn't see the racers too, so well worth going to see. We're hoping to see the start of the Tour De France next year when it comes to Yorkshire as OH has a sister who lives near to where the race is taking place. I imagine it will be a very popular event, we might have to be a bit more strategic when it comes to watching that race.