Sunday, 19 June 2016
Women's Tour Stage 5 - A grand day out!
I don't think you can have a better day cycling than the one we just had. The plan was to do a reasonably long ride and take in as much of the final stage of the Women's tour. First and foremost I have to say what a privilege it is to have such a prestigious sporting event in Northamptonshire. The it's always good to ride with friends and to top the lot I ended the day riding with SuperSam. Perfect.
A group of us met at C&D Cycles at 8:30 to follow Justin's plan. We needed to be about thirty miles away in Milton Malsor by 11 to see the early stages of the race. The official start was in Northampton but the riders were prevented from racing just before this point. So we got to see the whole field in one bunch which was nice!
Very close to the peleton
Our next aim was to make it in time to see the riders come through Rushton. We had to go through the centre of Northampton and then headed towards home. On an odd statement for me because Northampton will always be home but you know what I mean, we headed towards the Kettering end of the county. Because we were making excellent time the plan changed and we decided to watch the tour come through Rothwell. We were at least half an hour early so it was back to mine for a quick cuppa. At was at this stage we worked out that there would be time for SuperSam to get to the finish in Kettering after the riders had gone through Rothwell. He couldn't get his cycling gear on quick enough!
Sam gets a great vantage point
The yellow jersey!
Making light work of the hill into Rothwell
The others quickly left Sam and I behind because he cant quite get up Bunker Hill yet. Once we were over the top he pedaled like an expert and we span along at a very respectable 15mph. As predicted Kettering was packed by the time we got there but I managed to get Sam a vantage point to see the finish. I saw a flashing glimpse but in reality had no idea who won the race or what that meant to the GC result. We saw Andy the C&D Cycles manager and a few other faces from the club but had no idea where the people we had ridden with were at that stage. It was all a bit rushed but if we'd been there earlier we would have missed the riders coming through Rothwell.
After that we tried to get near the podium for the presentations. Sam and some other kids managed to get up on a concrete plinth. He had a great view and took some good photos. I saw nothing but at least could hear. I didn't mind though, it was more important for me that the kids could see. Which is why I was particularly annoyed by some selfish adults around us who were trying tried get the kids to move. One lady in particular, who frankly looked quite a stranger to a bike, expressed her displeasure. Miserable old bat! I have to say though, that there must be a better place to have a presentation. It's odd really when you consider how well the rest of the Tour has been organised.
Waiting for the presentation
Lizzie Armistead wins the 2016 Women's Tour
Marianne Vos gets stuck in with the champers
All the winners
Kettering once again did the Women's Tour proud. After the presentation we made our way back through the trade stands. There was naturally a congregation around the C&D Cycles stand. It was there we learnt that the C&D brothers and sisters had once again been hob nobbing. This time they'd been in the Kino Lounge with Lizzie Armistead's Nan!
We moved onto the KCC stand because Sam wants to join the Cyclones, their junior cycling club. He did his best on the Watt bike but that despicable cheat James Cook put him in too hard a gear to post a winning time...actually Mr Cook was very good with Sam and I know he enjoyed the watt bike challenge.
Sam did well riding home and is looking forward to more cycling on Thursday. He's going to work on his ability on hills, maybe I should do that too!
OK then this evening's recovery will be at the Thai Garden in Rothwell. If you didn't know 'crispy duck,' is perfect recovery food and Singha is an isotonic beer!
Posted by Richard Lindsley at 10:15