Monday, 27 June 2011

National Elite Road Race Championships

Happy high speed girls!
I know I'm still completely off-topic here for anyone who decides to visit my blog looking for posts about ceramics, but nevermind...  I did say I might wander into other interests on occasions.  I will have to do some potting today so might get back with pictures of clay 'things' later...

So....  yesterday, I spent around 10 hours in the sweltering sunshine in my high-vis vest marshalling the National Champs. It was a truly wonderful day and great to be able to watch the likes of Nicole Cooke, Lizzie Armistead, Bradley Wiggins and Geraint Thomas come flying through Stamfordham at incredible speeds.

The number of people who turned out to watch the event was quite astounding.  Stamfordham was packed of course, and the Ryals were (apparently) like Alp d'Huez during the Tour de France - one of the marshalls up there said there were around a thousand people on the roadside!  Fantastic. But all around the rest of the route, too, hundreds of people turned out to give their support to the riders - it was just amazing.

Being posted at the entrance to the village for my marshalling duties meant that I got a great view of the riders coming through on each circuit, and also got to chat with some very friendly folk who were watching or recording the event, including the rather lovely Andy Jones, photographer for Cycling Weekly, who kindly gave me some suntan cream for my somewhat cooked face(!) and also showed me some of the great pics he'd taken of the spectators up on the Ryals.

I'd intended to take plenty of photos myself but didn't quite get around to it as I seemed to be constantly distracted with keeping cars off the no-parking areas or answering questions (badly most of the time!) about the race progress or handing out start lists... etc.   Getting to the podium to take pictures was difficult because the crowd was so densely packed around it, but I did manage to zoom in on Mr Wiggins as he was contemplating the possibilities of being on the podium again at the end of next month's Tour de France...

So that's it for another great Cyclone Weekend... next stop for cycling lovers...  the Vendée for the Tour de France.  One chapter ends and another begins...

Some people will steal anything...
 peeling the finish line from the baking road - 7pm 26th June 2011

Spectator painting the road during the 2010 TDF - taken by Andy Jones

1 comment:

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