Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Why the Tour of Britain is not the Tour de France

I've never been to the Tour de France, but this is how I imagine it: exciting racing, stunning scenery, wonderful weather.

The Tour de France
I did, however, get a chance to see the Tour of Britain today when it passed within a few miles of Lancaster.
The Tour of Britain
Hil and I saw the race at Quernmore, near the summit of one of the climbs that count towards the King of the Mountains competition, although to be honest the "mountains" round here are more like "foothills" compared to the Alps. We cycled out from town, which involved several steep climbs of our own and soon after we set off it started raining very heavily (now, where have I heard that before this summer?) We rode through several flooded lanes, some of which had more water in them than some canals I've been on and got thoroughly drenched (my shoes will be drying out for some time to come).When when we got to the top, about 15 minutes before the race was due, we found it was, not surprisingly, running 20 minutes late but we stood there feeling smugly superior to the sissies who had driven out by car to watch. By the time the first riders appeared my camera was well and truly soaked and the image above was the best I could do, although it does give a good impression of the conditions these guys were racing in. 
Hilary did rather better with this shot of the peleton:
Mark Cavendish and our Bradley are in there somewhere.

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