Well the Tour has left London with Millar leading everyone out for at least half the day. It was good to see him in the climber’s jersey even though he won’t keep it long enough for the colours to run. It must have been an exceptional experience riding out like that in front of such a home crowd.
The results may have not gone how we wished but London put on a good show and one to be proud of. For two days it was great to forget about all the doping scandals and just get on with the event and the spectacle that is the Tour de France. Without giving too much credit to the politicians it’s good to know we can actually stage a bike race and do it with style.
Leaving London, driving ahead of the race through the gritty suburbs and eventually onto the rolling lanes towards Canterbury there wasn’t a foot of pavement left uncovered by a supporter. They estimated over 2 million people watched the tour live and although it’s not going to get everyone out on a bike it’ll still have a big effect. I can’t picture the numerous potbellies that lined the course all of a sudden jumping on a bike, or exacerbated car drivers giving us a bit more consideration. But it will encourage a lot of people and what child along that course wouldn’t be inspired in some way to go and have a go? It’s been a great couple of days for cycling the UK, I just wish we could host the tour every year.
As we leave the sun of London behind, cross the channel and drive from Dunkirk to a grey finish in Ghent, Belgium the spectacle of those London days will stay with me for the remainder of the tour and the rest of my life.