Le Grand Depart at last!

Friday 4th July  Stage 1 Leeds to Harrogate

Fantastic to be up in Yorkshire finally for the start of our Tour de France experience.

A huge thank you to Dave and Jenny Robertson in Bradford who are providing

us with accommodation, food and support for the Yorkshire part of the Tour.  They

could not have made us more welcome – it has made the trip special already.

Looks like there’ll be no problem following the route each day as it seems that the Tour officials

put up bright yellow arrow markers round the whole stage the day before – perfect

for us.  Martin was a bit cheesed off when he realised that the 10 miles from Leeds Town

Hall to Harewood House did not count towards the day’s total distance… it’s quite a lot

extra when you’re covering 100 miles plus every day.  Real sense of occasion and joy

with all the bunting, yellow bicycles, posters, road slogans etc – Yorkshire has gone

Tour mad.  Seemed like everyone who owned a racing bike was out today following

Stage 1.  The celebratory atmosphere waned somewhat after lunch when the rain and wind

closed in (and the hills got steeper).  The Cote de Buttertubs was as tough as

advertised – the descents were particularly nightmarish with narrow bridges and

right-angled bends added in for fun.  Martin had left his waterproof top behind… (cock-up or

over-optimism?), sogot especially soaked.  It rained solidly from 1pm until we finished around

7.30pm by which time we were pretty wet and knackered.  First Stage completed though –

and it’s forecast to be a lot drier tomorrow…



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