|The "Y" stands for Yorkshire|
This year, the planet's number one cycle race - The Tour de France - did not actually begin in France but in a much more civilised, cultured and beautiful part of Europe - namely Yorkshire. This past weekend, fans of the Tour de France have been treated to images of our great county and the incredible support of the Yorkshire people who came out in their droves.
At lunchtime today, Shirley and I jumped in the car and headed towards nearby High Bradfield - only to be astonished by the number of cars that were already parked up miles from the race route. We decided to park at Dungworth and then quick marched our way to Bradfield - nearly two miles away.
Just outside the village, we found a cosy place to sit on grassy banking above a hidden drystone wall. And then we waited and waited. An amazing number of vehicles passed by below us as we waited for the cyclists and they all blew their horns as they approached "The Old Horns Inn". There were British police motorcyclists and French gendarmes, ambulances, official race cars, cars and vans belonging to the various racing teams and then the so-called "caravan" which is basically dozens of motor vehicles whose sole purpose seemed to be to advertise things from the French "Carrefour" supermarket chain to Yorkshire Tea. We thought that caravan would never end so we ate our ham salad sandwiches and supped our water.
And then finally the cyclists appeared in their bright helmets and racing spectacles and their colourful lycra outfits. We saw them approaching, they flashed by and then they were gone. Afterwards we made our way through the crowds back to Dungworth - picking up two Londoners along the way. We took them back into Sheffield and one of them said to me - "Wasn't the caravan fantastic?" And I said "To tell you the truth, I thought it was all a waste of petrol."
Naturally, I took some photographs...
|Walking up to High Bradfield|
|Girls spinning in an adjacent field as we waited for Le Tour|
|Waiting for :Le Tour just outside High Bradfield|
|A typical part of the advertising caravan|
|Geraint Thomas leads the way for Team Sky|
|Roberto Brague and Tomaso Gowans for Team Blog|