It may be a little overdue but we have put together a round-up of June and July. We have to admit that most of the last 2 months have been all about the Tour de France. After all it’s not every month it comes to our county of Yorkshire so of course we wanted to make the most of it and enjoy every second.
Riding Le Tour
For Paul, June began with a ride of the Tour de France Stage 1. He set out with Welcome to Yorkshire CEO, Gary Verity and a group of other riders, including VC Bradford member Tim and his dotty bike, to complete stage 1. Starting out from Harewood House, where a month later Prince William and Kate would be setting off the race, and finishing in Harrogate. The weather on the day was idyllic, it was a fabulous experience and a great ride. Paul said it was his favourite rides ever, which is saying something! They took in the sights the Yorkshire dales, sailed up Buttertubs pass and even stopped for an ice cream! They finished in the spa town of Harrogate full of smiles and anticipation for the Tour de France.
In the build up to the Tour de France we created our very first TDF lookbook. Here we showcased some of the clothing and accessories we had in stock. We still have a few items available and even have a few jerseys and T-Shirts which weren’t in the video. To see what we’ve got contact us.
To celebrate the Tour de France we made 3 special Pennine bikes in yellow, green and polka dot, to represent the 3 main leaders jerseys. These bikes really got around in the lead up and got to do more things than we did! They were featured in a number of different fashion and photo shoots. The yellow Pennine was featured as part of a made in Yorkshire fashion show the week of the Tour de France. The day before the race started it was also showcased on stage when Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg spoke in Yorkshire.
We also took the yellow Pennine on a ride of stage 2 of Le Tour and shot a video. We decided on stage 2 as this was the stage which came through Bradford. We began in Keighley and Paul rode up Halifax Road, along the cobbles of Haworth and up the longest, continual climb in England, Cragg Vale. It was strange to think that only a few weeks later the best riders in the world would be following our wheels!
Of course there were lots of rumours about riders and teams coming over to recon the route and whilst attending an event in Leeds Sandra bumped in to Marcel Kittel! This photo has been the envy of many of her female friends!
June finished off with our Nige Moore Memorial Road Race. This was another huge success and we are grateful to all our sponsors, helpers and of course riders on the day.
Vive Le Tour
July was then upon us and of course the first week was all about Le Tour. Sandra and Paul were invited to a reception in London with Nick Clegg. This was to celebrate to success of Tour de France with Yorkshire businesses.
The Thursday before the race was starting we attended the Team Presentation at Leeds Arena. It was a fantastic show and it was great to see all the riders being interviewed and looking like they too were enjoying themselves.
On Friday morning Paul had another very special ride. The day before VC Bradford member Tim had been to a local hotel where some of the teams were staying. One of those teams was Europcar and as he spoke some French he went in the car with them helping to direct the riders on a loop! He was invited to ride with the team the next day and asked Paul if he would like to go too. So together they went on a ride with the Europcar team. Luckily as it was the day before the Tour de France so they were taking it easy!
In the afternoon Sandra and Caroline attended the Yorkshire Bike Show at Leeds Town Hall. It is fair too say everyone was getting into the spirit of the Tour de France and they saw all the barriers being set up in the signing on area. It was hard to imagine the next day the streets of Leeds would be lined with thousands of people!
When Saturday came around we were all up and ready for Le Tour to begin! We couldn’t believe it was happening. We decided to go to Harrogate to watch the finish. Caroline and Keil watched from the Fan Park, here there was a great atmosphere and they had the perfect view of the big screen, it was clear the whole park was cheering on Cav! Paul and Sandra were grateful to be invited to lunch and have grandstand seats along the finishing straight. Here they would see Marcel Kittel sprint to victory. Once the race had finished Caroline and Keil saw Simon Gerrans who was brought down by Cav just outside Betty’s, it’s always a highlight to see riders in real life!
On Sunday Caroline and Keil went to watch the race on Halifax Road, where a couple of weeks earlier Caroline had filmed Paul riding on the yellow Pennine. Paul and Sandra had been invited to another grandstand finish in Sheffield and they were almost within touching distance of Vincenzo Nibali who won on the day and ultimately won the whole Tour de France 3 weeks later.
The final day of the Tour de France in England we travelled to London to see the finish on Pall Mall. This time Caroline and Keil were watching as the riders whizzed by in full sprint mode at the 1 kilometre sign. Whilst Paul and Sandra stood at the other side of the finish line and saw almost every rider after they had finished!
We loved every minute of the Tour de France and it still seems like a very surreal experience! We are so grateful we were able to watch each stage when it was in England. Once the riders headed to France we spent most of July watching the race on the TV as it unfolded!
VC Bradford member Steve has continued to share on our blog all of his race day experiences. This year he has been mainly focused on time trials. It is great that he has been able to share his ups and downs, the season is still going on so there will be more reports to come.
July finished with a new showroom at Pennine Cycles. We decided to was time for a revamp. If you haven’t yet called into see it then we would be happy to welcome you in!
What were your highlights in June and July? Comment below!