“The Women’s Tour is Coming”
– was the intriguing message we’ve been getting for some weeks now and the Riders didn’t disappoint us.
And didn’t Geddington do them proud?
From the quiet and car-less streets first thing this morning, to 11.15am, when Grafton Road, the Eleanor Cross, West Street and Newton Road were all filled with excited school children and residents keen to watch this prestigious event.
Northamptonshire Police have perfected their rolling road closure exercise and it was interesting to see it in action. The first police motor cycle, complete with flashing blue and white lights, blips, sirens and other loud sounds and greeted by loud cheers and flag-waving from the children, rolled down Grafton Road to the bottom of Wood Street, stopped and waited. Shortly another motor cycle came and took his position in Wood Street and the first one moved off to the bottom of Church Hill. As each motor cycle rolled down the road, so the front leaders moved onto the next road leading off from the Route. Every motor cycle was greeted by huge cheers from the children, the policemen, responding with smiles, waves and encouraging motions to ‘up’ the cheering.
One even came very slowly past the children, with his hand out so they could slap it as he went passed – undoing all the teachers efforts to keep the children away from the pavement edge and pressed back against the wall!
The cheers and flag-waving grew in intensity as the police motor cycles increased in numbers, with a shorter time between each appearance, until finally, there were some Official Tour vehicles, some Event Marshals, and then with a huge roar from engines and the crowd, around the corner came the massive peloton of Tour Riders. With their team colours glowing in the sunshine, their helmets gleaming and their wheels flashing, they were all past in a matter of seconds (from first to last Rider it was 74 seconds).
Following the Riders came the the team support vehicles with spare cycles on their roofs, sponsor’s vehicles, vehicles containing dignitaries, more police vehicles and bringing up the rear, an ambulance.
Leaders of the pack as it came through Geddington were members of the Boels Dolman and United Healthcare Teams, followed closely by the Wiggle Team. But the Race lasts five days, so plenty of time for changes at the front.
Congratulations must be sent to the organisers of this event, the Sweetspot Group, as well as the sponsors and, of course, our County council for giving us the opportunity of seeing an unusual and spectacular event.
Debbie Kemp, a former Rider and Publicity Manager for the Tour of Britain, and now living in Geddington, commented: “The idea of having a Ladies Tour is fantastic and what is so good now, is that after over twenty years, the Ladies have got equal pegging with the lads. This is the first race where equal sponsorship money has been available – and it’s significant money too.
There’s also another milestone here, because this is the first International Team Race in the UK. A great event all round.“
To follow the Tour go to www.http://womenstour.co.uk
Further images of the Tour and if you have any you would like to share with visitors to this site, please send them to us via our email.