This is a photo blog about the South West of England, partly to give it some focus but mainly because I rarely leave the area. Last weekend I did, to go up to where I lived for much of my life, Ilkley in West Yorkshire, to visit friends and watch Le Grand Départ of the Tour de France, my favourite annual sporting event. I took a few shots whilst I was there so please forgive me this digression.
We were able to view the first stage twice, once as it passed through Ilkley early in the day’s racing and again in Harrogate for the finish. In Ilkley it was great to see the crowd favourite Jens Voigt in the breakaway (yet again!) in his last year of racing (allegedly!).
Arriving late in Harrogate after struggling to get to the area due to road closures we were unable to get close to the finishing line but we did get to see the Team Sky riders at the back of their bus after the race. Of course, we did hear the collective groan of a few thousand people as Cav went down.
The next day we were able to see the race again on the hill known locally as ‘Cringles’ above Addingham, just up the Wharfe Valley from Ilkley. Addingham was fortunate to be visited by the Tour on both days.
Gutted that Cav, and now Froomey, are out.