flipping_elves: (peloton)
[personal profile] flipping_elves
A rude awakenening at 6am, saw us back on the ferry for 7.30.  This time we were sailing to Grainville as part of an orgnised bus trip to see the time trial.

Other than sailing times, we had no idea where we would be seeing the TT.  Would it be Avranche for the start (my mouth was watering with the prospect of seeing the riders sweating it out on the rollers, half clad in lycra!)? Or maybe the finish at the iconic Mont St Michel?  Such a splendid backdrop for the riders to collapse over the finishing line.

On arrival in the pretty port of Grainville we finally found out where we would be seeing the race. It was destination Saint Quentin sur le Homme, about 5K from the start of the stage... nope still no idea. A short coach drive later, we arrived at a very typical and beautiful Normandy village which was in full  'We are hosting the Tour' mode. It really was was an ideal place to view a TT. A short climb into the village, followed by two sharp bends through the centre meant the riders had to slow up (a bit) before they started motoring on the short straight descent out again.  Apparently the tv crews thought so too, and we had helicopters overhead for much of the day.

The TT was already underway by the time we arrived, but as luck would have it the first rider through was Cav. The first indication you have that a rider is approaching are the motorbike out riders, followed  by the riders, team car and then more cars.  IMG_8968 CAV

We had fun on this stage.  It was baking hot, and although there were some Brits on the roadside; the majority of the fans were French.  This brought a whole different flavour compared to yesterday.  It was brilliant, whole families camped outside complete with pucnic baskets, wine, pets. Every rider was greeted with shouting and cheering, with loudest cheers for the French riders of course, especially Chavanel and little Tommy V.

The riders were coming through every two mins (3mins for the top 25), and were with us about 8 mins after they started. This gave my photographer in chief plenty of time to practice before my fav riders came through... top priority Jakob.... of course ;D. Getting photos was really hard, they go so fast and even using our fastest shutter speed it was too slow sometimes.

I had come organised with my start order list, and was able to regale the family with riders names and teams etc and fun facts. I like to think they were impressed with this, but deep down I think they were humouring me?  As the afternoon got hotter, thenparty mode increased, there were water fights, and singing, and I began to wonderbif we would see the appearance of a mankini ... thankfully no. As rider after rider went past, and we were getting down to the top 20, I began to get a bit nervous and even more excited. We all yelled for the riders, but I cheered extra loud for Jakob as he shot past. This was just as well, cos there he was just getting the polite applause and only small cheers from the people lining the street.  Come on people this man is cuuute....

We did get shots of many riders, but when Jakob came through the camera misfired and we missed him.  After enduring a day of comments from my family about teenage crushes and Fuglsang?...really? , my brilliant son came up with the comment of the day.  He looked at me and said

"Never mind Mum, at least you have seen him, and you can have that memory for ever"

he then added with a grin

"You know, I'm sure he turned and winked at you as he went past... you should keep that memory"

LOL my son can be so sweet at times <3

Here are some shots of other riders, it really was incredibly difficult to get these and not all of them are quite in focus, Chris says he thinks it gives them a feeling of speed. I would agree with him (he did a fine job), except you know... He missed Jakob!
IMG_8990 Tony M
TT Tony looking ace in rainbows

IMG_9002 Tommy V
Alleeeezzzz Tommeeeee

IMG_9009 Cadel E
Cadel won the prize for the ugliest TT helmet of the day

IMG_9010 Andy S
Andy really going for it.. see that effort face
I cheered really loud

IMG_9011 Quintana
My favourite Colombian.. lovely Nairo Quintana

IMG_9012 Berto C
Berto,... flying... Vai....

IMG_9015 Valverde
Valverde... I only cheered politely ;(

IMG_9017 Froome
Froome... another polite cheer from me... but the family shouted so loud I jumped and stared at them!

We were able to stay until Froome went through, and I have to say he was going like a bat out of hell.  After the dust had settled, we picked ourselves up off the hot pavement and made our way back to the bus.  We stopped by the beer tent  for a nice cool Kronenburg, and everyone from Granparents to children were chatting about the race, and who we'd seen.   We had enough time to have a lovely meal at Grainville efore the ferry departed for Jersey.. the perfect end to a great day.

It's going to be strange tomorrow to have to go back to work, and not back to the tour.  I proper loved it, and can't wait to do it all again.. next year in Yorkshire.

Date: 2013-07-12 08:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] reefgirluk.livejournal.com
Sounds like you had a fantastic day

Date: 2013-07-14 10:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] flipping-elves.livejournal.com
Sorry, just realised I hadn't replied. Yes it was brilliant, and I really can't believe that it's nearly a week since I was getting ready. Wish I could go again...


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