Two stages; Leeds to Harrogate, 190km on Saturday and York to Sheffield, 201km on Sunday. And the crowds turned out in droves to watch. Estimates put the number of spectators at over 2.5 million.
What a weekend, what an experience, what a thrill to see the whole Le Tour circus pass by.
With road closures and expectations of high spectator numbers we set off early and arrived in Masham North Yorkshire and parked in a large grassy field at 6.00am, to sit and watch the rain come down. But not for long, it soon brightened up and after a welcome sausage sandwich from the local butcher’s we set up deckchairs by the roadside within sight of the 18th century stone bridge which crosses the River Ure and waited…and waited.
And we were not alone! How the crowds flocked to Masham. Good natured, banner waving and colourful, full of humour and anticipation.
By early afternoon the ‘caravane publicitaire’ started to trickle past, soon becoming a flood as all manner of cars, vans and mobile adverts tooted and honked their way by. Police motorcycle outriders high fived the crowd, everyone cheered and waved, then Le Gendarmerie and the red ‘officiel’ race car.
Then suddenly – whoosh – the race leaders and the peleton…..and Le Tour had gone, passed by in a cacophony of noise!
By eck, it were reet grand and I’d definitely do it again. Vive Le Tour, allez Le Tour, retournez au Yorkshire bientot!
Enjoy the images.
Words and photographs Copyright © 2014 by Antony J Waller