Saturday, July 07, 2007

Allez allez!

For the first time in its 104-year history, the Tour de France came to London this weekend. Luckily enough, the wet and miserable weather of the last couple of weeks appears to have eased off, so the 500,000 people that filled the streets to watch the prologue this morning were able to enjoy some beautiful (and much-awaited) sunshine. Thank God for that, as it could so easily have been a washout.

For the dedicated sun-seekers, it was possible to watch the race from the comfort of a lounger, as there were big screens dotted around London's parks.

This being a major world event, and the anniversary of the 7/7 London bombings, there was a lot of police around - both British and the French Gendarmerie, who looked quite impressive arriving en masse at Whitehall.

First, the sponsors' floats and random cyclists went through London.

Then the prologue (individual time trial) started at 3 pm. It was almost impossible to take decent pictures as the cyclists were literally wizzing past, competing for the top place and the maillot jaune - the leader's yellow jersey, which was won by Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland. You can see more photos here.

I wish I had a flat right on the route of the prologue, as this guy does. It's much more civilised than standing around on the sidelines.

Stage 1 will take place tomorrow with a 203km sprint & climb between Greenwich and Canterbury. Allez allez and good luck to all!


Daniel B. said...

SWEEEEET - Thanks for posting this!! That police presence is crazy

kathy said...

Looks like it was a beautiful day. Perfect for the event.Sunshine with a nice breeze. Hope you had a great time.

Tinsie said...

Hey Daniel, you're very welcome! It was great to be out there yesterday. I was in Paris round about this time last year and Tour de France merchandise and advertising was everywhere. I thought I'd have to return to France to witness the event, but luckily this year it came to me. I couldn't not go!

There were some 4500 police officers (plus community support officers) patrolling London yesterday - you could see a pair every way you looked. Which was great, because every time you needed to ask a question, like where you can cross to the other side, or how to get to here or there, or which way the race goes, there was someone nearby who could answer :-)

Hey Kathy! Long time no hear. It was indeed a sunny and breezy day, and I had a fab time! How's Athens? Still baking hot?

Shionge said...

Oh mine...I wanna to part of this Tinsie :D It is so wonderful to be able to soak in the excitement & buzzz.....

Are you in Central London?

Betty C. said...

This looks so fun! And you're having fine weather if I do say so myself...

Tinsie said...

Shionge, I'm not quite in the centre, but close enough. It's nice to be near the action without being in the middle of it, if you know what I mean.

Betty, it was great fun and the weather was stunning. Shame it didn't last :-(

ZB24 said...


It's so cool you got to see the tour in person. I've always watched it on TV here in US, and liked it.

Since Lance Armstrong isn't in this one, I haven't really been keeping track.

Also, I've recently moved and I had to get a whole package to just get the 1 channel I wanted. It was a waste of $$.

Tinsie, please just let me know who won. LOL!

Your blog is still good, BTW. Don't stop posting!


Tinsie said...

Thanks, ZB24!

The Tour de France has been super-exciting this year, what with people and whole teams getting disqualified. I'm having trouble keeping up with it. Still, we should know the winner soon :-)