Vive le Tour de France!

SimonGeneral

OK, forgive me the continental flavour of the headline…it’s been a good day with the sun shining on Kent.

The Tour de France came through Medway and finished with a Brit taking the honours in Canterbury. Throughout the route the race looked well supported, and I was particularly pleased to see good crowds in Medway.

 

I spent the morning watching the pre-race build-up and race itself in Gillingham, at the first sprint section of the race.

Aside from fielding phone calls from various council colleagues and keeping tabs on what was happening in other parts of Medway, it was nice to be able to forget about the communications challenges that have gone with the event over the past couple of months and enjoy the spectacle of the world’s largest annual sporting event visiting these shores.

The race is preceded by the publicity caravanne – a parade of floats and other promotional vehicles that entertain the waiting crowds. Unfortunately where I was standing they decided to go quite fast, so it wasn’t that easy to see the floats properly:

Then around noon the crowds were cheering for a British leader – David Millar came through leading the stage and taking the first sprint honours too: 

Three or four minutes later the peloton sped through, followed by lots of team vehicles and race officials:

The cyclists themselves passed by in just 10 or 15 seconds – in case you missed them, here’s a slow motion version!

More of my pictures are available on Flickr.

[tags]Medway, tour+de+france, gillingham[/tags]