Author Topic: Tour of Britain 2012  (Read 7977 times)

JT

  • Howay the lads!
    • CTC Peterborough
Re: Tour of Britain 2012
« Reply #100 on: September 17, 2012, 10:58:40 am »
Mrs JT and I were guests of Yodel at yesterday’s stage and we got to ride in a car (Media 2) in the race convoy. What an eye-opener that was.

In the VIP area at the start in Reigate there were complimentary pastries and coffee plus some juicy gossip about certain high profile riders.  8) We showed a common touch by chatting to the Halls over the barrier (only joking Tim).  ;)

The commissaires radio channel was on in the car so we heard all the time-checks (not very scientific), race news, and some banter. Our car started ahead of the peloton and stayed there until the breakaway had formed. The start was delayed for 15 minutes because the Police radio system was down. Riders were sent back to their buses. Then they got some comms working and brought the start forward again but apparently some riders were late and the race rolled away in the neutralised section minus a full peloton. Then we waited for the gap to reach two and half minutes which allowed us to pull over and get in between the break and the peloton. The driver then got us right up to the breakaway riders before dropping back again to be replaced by another guest car. As soon as the gap came down we had to get out of that space and that was fun too speeding away from the break on the twisty lanes. We were never much more than a minute ahead of the race and at one point the driver in front was treating a descent so carefully that we concertinaed enough for the break to almost catch us.

When the peloton passed through Guildford for the first time, there was some concern on the radio about the deviation at the finish being too narrow. Shortly afterwards, everyone was reassured that it was still being built and would be fine by the time we came round again.

The crowds were incredible along the whole route. I’ve been going to the Tour de France for years and I’ve watched whole stages on TV and this was way beyond anything there. The driver was beeping the car horn and we were waving almost the whole time – of course we’re not famous or anything but most people, particularly little kids, at the side of the road appreciate it and adds to the excitement.

Being in ”the bubble” and witnessing the rolling road closure was fascinating. The police and the motorbike marshals do an amazing job but we were horrified as we approached Guildford for the final time: there were a lot of oncoming cars and even a bus inside the last 2km! :o  Of course, we were ahead of the race but not by much. Then as we raced over the cobbles to the finish line we came to an abrupt stop as a team van was stuck in the entrance to the deviation. One by one cars and motorbikes started arriving behind the stricken van. The crowd were jeering as the commentator was describing the final km’s – they and we knew we were in danger of an highly embarrassing and potentially dangerous climax to the race. Finally one of the ToB guys sprang into life and shouted and gesticulated for all the cars to reverse enough to let the van out. The crowd cheered as the traffic jam cleared and we hurtled around the deviation. We jumped out of the Skoda and ran to the course just as Cav began his sprint. We couldn’t see the finish line but we were right in front of the podium and just the width of the narrow road from where Cav collapsed and a slightly lost-looking Tiernan-Locke milled around.

The Team Sky riders did their thing, hugging Cav and they all congratulated JTL too, apart from Cavendish who pointedly ignored him. As usual Cav’s bird, Peta Todd, was there with their baby and her son and they were ushered into the area behind the podium. Meanwhile the winner of the Yodel sprints jersey, Peter Williams, came over to the barrier to hug his girlfriend who had to stand around and queue like a normal punter. The podium presentations at the ToB have a slightly shambolic feel to them in comparison to the ceremonies at the TDF and once again Jon Tiernan-Locke hurled his bouquet of flowers into the crowd. To my surprise it was arcing my way and I reached up and grabbed it to the delight of Mrs JT who has always wanted a rider to give her his flowers (this was close enough).

To be honest before yesterday we wondered whether being in a car might be a bit boring. We’d already passed-up the chance of a car ride on Stage 1 for logistical and dog reasons but we thought we’d give it a go here. If you ever get the chance, go for it - it’s bloody brilliant.
a great mind thinks alike

Re: Tour of Britain 2012
« Reply #101 on: September 17, 2012, 11:08:51 am »
....To my surprise it was arcing my way and I reached up and grabbed it to the delight of Mrs JT who has always wanted a rider to give her his flowers (this was close enough).......

Nice touch  :thumbsup: to what sounds like a fab day.

Re: Tour of Britain 2012
« Reply #102 on: September 17, 2012, 11:15:10 am »
I had a go at following a stage of the Tour of Britain in 2007 on a motorbike, when it came past the end of our road. That was just as Cavendish was breaking through into the big time. I managed to get ahead of the peloton at three points, but didn't make the finish. I saw the Police do their thing three times, and it is impressive. By the time I was at the third stop the Police had sussed what I was doing, and they had me block off a minor road with my bike.
When I saw the Olympic torch relay it was obvious that it was being used as training ground for police escorts, as the lead bike was from the Met. The escort bikes are from a variety of forces to spread the expertise. I made a film on that day in 2007.
I even got the opportunity to tell Jens Voigt to 'dig in'.


Re: Tour of Britain 2012
« Reply #103 on: September 17, 2012, 12:35:16 pm »
Sounds like a great day out JT.

... juicy gossip about certain high profile riders.

Not divulgeable, I suppose?

JT

  • Howay the lads!
    • CTC Peterborough
Re: Tour of Britain 2012
« Reply #104 on: September 17, 2012, 12:59:48 pm »
Sounds like a great day out JT.

... juicy gossip about certain high profile riders.

Not divulgeable, I suppose?

Well it might not be that shocking to some but allegedly a certan sideburned chap did not have a stomach bug and a certain team disciplined two riders who were out drinking at 4am before the start of a stage. Whether these events are connected, I cannot say.

My source is impeccable, by the way.
a great mind thinks alike

red marley

Re: Tour of Britain 2012
« Reply #105 on: September 17, 2012, 01:31:54 pm »
Excellent stuff JT.

...Then they got some comms working and brought the start forward again but apparently some riders were late and the race rolled away in the neutralised section minus a full peloton.

I rode down for the start at Reigate and saw them off, but was surprised at how small the peloton was. That would explain it.

It was great being able to mix with the riders in the team bus area without too much security getting in the way. I also felt proud at the size of the crowds  - I hope this gives all the riders an extra incentive to participte in UK events.

Re: Tour of Britain 2012
« Reply #106 on: September 17, 2012, 02:00:00 pm »
Sounds like a great day out JT.

... juicy gossip about certain high profile riders.

Not divulgeable, I suppose?

Well it might not be that shocking to some but allegedly a certan sideburned chap did not have a stomach bug and a certain team disciplined two riders who were out drinking at 4am before the start of a stage. Whether these events are connected, I cannot say.

My source is impeccable, by the way.

To channel Francis Urquhart, we might very well think that; you couldn't possibly comment.  ;D
"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look long into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you." ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Giraffe

  • I brake for Giraffes
Re: Tour of Britain 2012
« Reply #107 on: September 19, 2012, 06:08:31 pm »
Rather noticeable that Wiggo had his name as "WIGGo: WIGG to the power of 0=1 and that was his number.
Kristian House's number was 111 which, in the simplest substitution of letters for numbers is AAA - and what did he win?

BTW, on the last episode of The Cycle Show, KH's pulse rate at the top of the Stelvio was about 50bpm lower than that of the presenter.
2x4: thick plank; 4x4: 2 of 'em.