TTT in Nice
Last weekend Paul and Sandra from Pennine Cycles went to Nice in conjunction with Welcome to Yorkshire and UKTI. They went to watch the Team Time Trial in the Tour de France, won by Orica GreenEdge. Here is their diary from the few days they spent in Nice.
We flew with Jet2 from Leeds Bradford Airport to Nice, we only had hand baggage in order to travel light, it was a struggle but we both achieved it. On our flight we were joined by 5 members from Look North, our local news channel. We had already been invited to speak on the news the following day so it was great to meet them.
We landed ahead of time at Nice Airport and we had not been to Nice before so we chatted to various passengers who were helpful about the local buses from the airport into the centre offering us information and prices. When we got outside it was chaotic as all the roads were closed due to a cycling event for locals. We made the decision to walk and set off with a British couple who knew the way, it was about a 6km walk from the Airport and was enjoyable in the sunshine.
We arrived into Nice and looked for our hotel the Mercure Grimaldi. Without too many wrong turns we found it and checked in and then headed armed with a map to the Jeune Fete and to find the Welcome to Yorkshire Pavillion.
We then headed back to the Welcome to Yorkshire Pavillion where we saw Eddy Merckx on stage presenting prizes and medals. We made our way to the Welcome to Yorkshire Pavillion and met Tracey, Alex, Mark and of course Gary Verity much to our surprise as we thought he would be still in Corsica. We had some well received water and cheese and biscuits from Yorkshire.
We were interviewed by Look North, sat on the rocks by the beach. We talked about how the Tour coming to Yorkshire is having a positive impact on our bike shop.
We had dinner al fresco at a fabulous restaurant and headed for our room looking forward to the excitement of the team time trial and our VIP experience at lunch which started at 1230.
The TTT day had arrived and we headed to the race area. We had a quick chat with Ned Boulting who presents the Tour coverage on ITV. We then went to the Welcome to Yorkshire Pavillion and received our VIP day passes.
We went to have a look in the area the team buses were parked and saw Juan Antonio Flecha leaving the Vacansoleil bus and we were fortunate to chat with him, he said he would come to Yorkshire next year if he was still racing.
We were at the VIP purpose built area on the Promenade d’anglais from 12:30 and we had to show our official invitations which were swapped for an official yellow tag on our wrists. We were greeted with champagne and escorted to our Welcome to Yorkshire area. The champagne was flowing and the teams were riding past as they warmed up. We were right on the course. Christian Prudhomme came around for a chat, we had been privileged to meet him last month when he visited Leeds, you can read about it here.
We then had a delicious lunch and we saw Alexandr Vinoukurov who won Gold at the London Olympics. He will be coming to Yorkshire next year, he was a lovely guy to talk to.
Then it was time for the TTT, we watched them all come through at the 150m to go point. It was exciting and fun to watch. Orica GreenEdge were the winning team, it was very impressive to watch them all riding together.
The crowds started to disperse and we continued to soak up the atmosphere. We had a walk around The Village area and went to a coffee with Councillor Lucinda Yeadon from Leeds Council and chatted about our once in a lifetime experience and how next year the Tour will be coming to Leeds.
It was time to head home and we loved our stay in Nice it is a fabulous place, the ice cream and crepe were great too! We caught the bus back to the airport and returned with Easy Jet to Liverpool before heading home to Bradford.
It was a fantastic trip and we are happy we had the opportunity to go to Nice. We would love to hear your thoughts on the Tour de France, what have you thought of the race so far? Did you see us on TV?