A little later than planned but here’s some pictures from the Tour De France at York Racecourse from the start of July. We were lucky enough to be given some tickets for the stands for the Grand Depart this year. The weather started out as a bit duller than the more picturesque sunshine from the stage the day before but plenty of people still piled into the racecourse to watch the caravan and riders leave. Firstly for some reason we were treated to a magic show, then the commentators tried to build up the tension by dropping in the announcement of whether Mark Cavendish was fit to ride that morning after a nasty crash the day before just yards from the finishing line in Harrogate. Another magic show for the crowd and some amiable banter then Ken Russell, the 1952 winner of the Tour of Britain, was interviewed from the stage and probably got one of the biggest cheers of the day, second only to Gary Verity who had won the bid for Yorkshire.
Finally the riders started to sign in for the start in dribs and drabs then the bulk of them came about about 20 minutes before the cutoff. Chris Froome and Team Sky came on to a big cheer and were also presented with some toy cows for some reason. We also spotted ITV’s Ned Boulting and David Millar having a chat down the front, and also watched Millar joking dance about in front of the Garmin team car whilst it was trying to leave. The highlight for me was watching the Bic mascot seeming crumple into a pile and die on stage whilst a baffled Ken Russell looked on.