Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Tour de Yorkshire

So on a bright and sunny Sunday morning, Fluffrick and I set off to experience the largest annual sporting event, first hand. Surreal or what? Who would have thought that the "Tour de France" would have chosen to end a stage in this fair city of Sheffield - the Tour of Britain doesn't even come here.  We walked the dogs and left them in the safe care of their Gran, I packed a picnic (Orangina was a must), made sure we had sun tan lotion and an umbrella and headed out into the unknown. 

Spectator Hub at Don Valley Bowl

We arrived at the spectator hub about 10:45 am, the race hadn't even set off from York, so it was fairly quiet.  We were very please to find that deck chairs had been provided free of charge and plonked ourselves down to watch the coverage on the big screen.

There were a smattering of entertainers around the hub, some more French themed than others.  So we watched the race set off from York, head up the Cote de Blubberhouse (wonderful name) and make it's tortuous progression towards us. 

It was not intentional that there was a "Sky" advert on the big screen
Slowly but surely the spectator hub filled up, the street food stalls and beer tent were doing good business, I was aghast at the prices for merchandise, but they seemed to be doing a roaring trade.

I don't know why I have such a daft look on my face

Me in my Tour De Yorkshire outfit.  What does a sewer do to commemorate such an event, she sews a cycle skirt. I got the notion to make a skirt for the occasion on Friday morning and set out on a quest for bicycle related fabric and came home with this rather subtle print.

I made the skirt using the ubiquitous New Look 6106, I think this may now be the ninth time I have used this pattern,  I will do a blog post about all the different version eventually.  As it is quite a lightweight cotton, I decided to make it a little fuller, so added 16cm to the centre front and gathered in between the pockets,  I also lined the skirt using the remnants of a white sheet, to give the skirt a little extra body.  I love it, it's not too over the top that I can't wear it as an everyday skirt; but it will always remind me of the day I went to the "Tour".
Anyway back to the cycling.  We left the spectator hub just after 2 pm and headed down towards Brightside Lane, to see the race for real.  I'd wanted to see the promotional caravane, but I have to say I was quite underwhelmed with it, I wonder it they were saving their goodies for Jenkin Road?

So this is what we were waiting for and it was gone in a flash.  I think that blur in the white jersey is Peter Sagan, the blur in front of him might be Chris Froome, or it could be any of the other eight Sky riders.

Even the support vehicles went by in a blur,  There were an insane number of promotional, support, television and police vehicles.  I would say definitely more than one per rider.

The tail end of the peloton, going a little more sedately and slightly less blurry.

One of the IAM Cycling riders, we didn't know there had been a split in the peleton and that the yellow jersey group were about 15 minutes behind.
We then headed up towards the finish line, which we were not going to be able to get remotely close too, but we could hear the frenzy.  But we did get close to the riders, after the finish.

The IAM Cycling tour bus.  These guys after cycling 200 km, now have to warm down by peddling faster than most mere mortal could ever manage.  On the right is IAM Cycling's team leader Mathias Frank.

And Sky's Geiraint Thomas, for some reason being filmed next the Orica GreenEdge Bus, Chris Froome was probably being mobbed next to the Sky Bus.

And then we headed home to watch the end of the race on TV and found out who had won.  All in all it was a remarkable day and I think Yorkshire did the Tour proud, even if it didn't always show the most attractive side of Sheffield which really is a lovely city to live in.


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