Yesterday I went to the Tour Of Britain. The prologue was to be held at Crystal Palace in South London so it was only a couple of hours away. There has been no advertising for this event and I would have thought that someone would have twigged that after the Success of the TDF starting in London- This would have been the ideal time to promote cycling again.
Got to Crystal Palace and no Direction signs at all. Found the event at the second attempt and even at 11am it was a disappointment. Very few trade stands and even fewer people. Only one thing for it and Breakfast. No Pie and no breakfast so it was down to a Hot Dog. I like hot dogs but the only decent bit about this one was the Mustard. Roll was a bit firm- The onionís were running in grease and the Sausage was Solid- Completely dried out and Overcooked. I gave it back to them and asked for my money back- No deal!!! So I stood just off the stand and advised customers not to buy. Within 5 minutes I had my money back and a Hamburger to replace it.
The Time trial would not start till 3pm so time to look at a Trial riding display and only one pic- Time I learnt how dismount like this as it looks less painful than Headfirst over the bars. One or two other pics but the Time trial was only 2.5 kms and it was being done on the Old Motor racing Circuit. We Had taken our Bikes and sussed out a couple of good spots to watch before the TT
One thing that I was Bothered by- There is a Company called E-On that were sponsoring the King of the Mountains. They had lots of pretty young girls giving out Beanie hats. Initially I was asking for a hat but no need- All day long we were being accosted by these young- slim- beautiful girls and being asked if we would like a Hat. I got a few spares and I am sending Them Off to my Sponsor "Irma's Kitchen" so if you want a King of the Mountains Beanie hat- You will have to get to Irma's. Limited numbers I am afraid so it will be on a First come first served basis.
3 pm and The time trial started. And Some of the major teams were there. CSC-T Mobile-Rabobank-Shimano- South Australia- and a lot more. Not the Worlds top riders but the teams were there- No Discovery but a few American riders.
On the pics- The beanie is the one- If you are quick enough-That you can get from Irma. Now that Chain Fence- Taken on the fastest part of the circuit after a downhill and on a big curve- The riders were doing 60mph here and the Police out riders were braking but not the Bikes or the cars. You should have heard the tyre squeal from the cars. The picture going up the Hill is where the KOM was held and although they were going faster uphill than I would be on the flat- The hill was only a slope. We did see one high speed accident and no pic But I am now convinced that I do not want a C.F.Bike. It literally fell to bits when it hit the barrier.
Now onto the final straight and about 50 ft from the finish. The USA rider in blue was- I donít know I canít remember my name let alone an American I have never heard of before but some of you may recognise him. The T-Mobile rider is Mark Cavendish and heís English. He won the TT- and the KOM and the yellow jersey. Still thereís the rest of the week for him to fall off Or find another Labrador as he did in the TDF but He is not too bad- Probably our best British hope for the week.