After an amazing 2 days watching Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the Tour de France in our home county of Yorkshire it was time for us to watch the final stage in England. Stage 3 was starting in Cambridge and finishing in London so we decided to watch the finish in the capital. It was sad this was going to be our last day of watching Le Tour live this year but we all have had the most incredible weekend.
Monday was another early start as Paul, Sandra, Caroline and Keil were on the 7.40am train out of Leeds. We soon arrived in London and made our way towards Covent Garden, there was plenty of time to kill before the race arrived. After getting some brunch it was time to visit the Le Coq Sportif shop near Covent Garden. We love their Tour de France apparel which we showed in our Grand Depart Lookbook. Downstairs there was a competition to dress in cycling clothes and take a picture. Of course we all had to do it!
After having a bit of fun we walked to Trafalgar Square. Here was an official Fan Park and they were showing the Tour on the big screen. They also had stalls and there was a great atmosphere already.
We then wanted to check out Pall Mall, where the race was finishing to make sure to get a good spot. It was here that we separated for a few hours. Caroline and Keil made their way to Green Park where there was another Fan Park. This was not as easy as they thought, a lot of the crossings had already closed so they walked to the 1km sign, crossed there and walked back on the other side! They had a look around the Fan Park, it wasn’t as good as Harrogate had been on Saturday, much smaller and not as much atmosphere but they still enjoyed it and managed to get a little snack for some energy!
Deciding to watch the race on the roadside they went to find a good spot. There was only about an hour before the race was due and it was getting very busy, especially around Buckingham Palace. It was great to see, once again, so many people watching the Tour de France. They found a good viewing area just at the 1km point and waited for the race to arrive. It was about this time it began to rain, it didn’t dampen anybody’s enjoyment though!
It was soon here and was going to be a sprint for the line, it’s fair to say the riders were going very fast! They were strung out in single file as they went under the flamme rouge. On commentary we could hear what was happening once they had disappeared from view, it was another Marcel Kittel win!
Meanwhile Paul and Sandra had found a great spot just past the finish line, waiting for when Kittel and Co arrived. Before then they saw all the hustle of pre-race with the support teams getting in place, the press and they even saw Bernard Hinault too! They were in a prime position to see Kittel as he stopped before he was engulfed by photographers. They saw almost every rider go past them as they all headed to their team buses. It was an exciting place to be.
Once the excitement had died down they also managed to grab a photo with designer Paul Smith, who is also a cycling fan.
It was then time to regroup as everyone shared their stories from the day before heading home back to Yorkshire and the Tour de France went back to France.
All of us at Pennine Cycles had an incredible weekend and we saw so much. From finish lines to team buses to sprints and breakaways. We loved every second of the Grand Depart and we are proud to be from Yorkshire. The crowds were bigger than we could have imagined and it is great to see so much enthusiasm for a sport that we have all loved for a long time.
Where did you watch the Tour de France? Comment below!