A Travellerspoint blog

Le Tour - part one

From London to Dover.

sunny -17 °C

Hi folks,
after a long period of recovery we are finally ready to start our blog of Le Tour. We have been sleeping at every opportunity and struggling with being back at work. We hope you enjoy reading this. It was an amazing trip and will take a few entries to describe.

Our adventure started here in London with a Friday night presentation of the teams in Trafalgar Square. It gave us a chance to get a look at the team colours and also got me a Stuart O'Grady autograph. A huge crowd turned out and the scene was set for an exciting time trial on the following day.

Crowd at Trafalgar Square

Team AG2R

Crowd at Trafalgar Square

Team Caisse Depargne

On the Saturday we headed down to Hyde Park. We settled in beside Serpentine Rd, where we usually rollerblade, and positioned ourselves in front of the big screen to enjoy the event.

Big Screen at Hyde Park

CSC Time Trial

Hyde Park Crowd

Liquigas Time Trial

The first bit of bad luck for the Australians was Stuart O'Grady taking a corner too wide and enjoying a short flight over the handles and onto the road, he lost a lot of time but was able to get back on the bike and finish the stage. Bradley Wiggins was the local boy and when he went past our position a huge roar went up and the air was filled with excitement. It was all very enjoyable but over such a short distance (about 5 km) each ride was over very quickly. We were eager for the first proper road stage to begin and for our own road trip to commence also.

The van was filled with all the provisions and we were finally on the road. It was nice to see the city slowly give way to more open expanses as we headed south east toward the coast. We decided to have our first look at the race at a little place in the country called Sellinge Common. We parked the van and walked up to the route. We found a good position on a bend just before the end of one of the "King of the mountain" climbs. It was a good photo oportunity and we had the added drama of riders getting tangled up right in front of us. We got a taste of the despair a rider experiences when losing time due to an accident. One of the riders had to have his bike repaired and was almost in tears as he stood watching the peleton disappear up the hill in front of him. We all gave him heaps of applause and encouragement as he recommenced his climb. He looked broken.

Walking up to Sellinge Common

Our spot at Sellinge Common

The Peleton zipping by at Sellinge Common

We ended the day at a caravan park a few miles inland from Dover. It was a nice quiet spot with lush green grass and was crawling with rabbits.


First Tent Set Up

We bought some fish and chips and sat atop the famous white cliffs to consume them.

White Cliffs of Dover

White Cliffs of Dover

Jen on a Fence atop the Cliffs

Stephen at Dover

As we gazed across the water toward Calais I wondered what the next 22 days held for us.

I could only imagine what this amazing race would bring us. And the best was definately yet to come!

Posted by StephenJen 05:47 Archived in England Tagged events

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