11 September 2015

Up Close with the Tour of Britain

Stage 6 of the Tour of Britain came close to Sheffield today, so I got out to the Peak District to see the cyclists up close.  It was my first time seeing professional cyclists in a tour race.  Watching events like the Tour de France on television is great because I can follow the action for an entire stage.  Seeing stage action in person is thrilling for a few minutes, but then all that's left after the cyclists pass is a trip to a country pub.  Watching the cyclists go by was thrilling for me, and grabbing great food and a pint at The Fox House made the afternoon all the more better.

The profile of Stage 6 may be found here.  A colleague and I took a bus from Sheffield to The Fox House and set up just below the summit of the first King of the Mountain point at Millstone Edge.  By the time cyclists reached that point, they had traveled 83.7 km (52.0 mi) of the 192.7-km (119.7-mi) stage, i.e. about 43.4% of the stage distance.  The image below is a photo I took of Ian Stannard of Team Sky as he was about to be the first cyclist to reach the King of the Mountain point (click on the image for a larger view).
Stannard came in 27th today.  Italian Matteo Trentin of Etixx-Quick Step won the stage in a time 4h 45' 27" for an average speed of 11.25 m/s (40.50 kph or 25.17 mph).  I was very impressed watching those guys cycle up the hill!

The movie below shows the peloton going by.
After so many years watching professional cyclists on television, it was wonderful seeing them in action as they cycled right by where I was standing.

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