Tour of Britain Cycle Race

The Tour of Britain cycle race got underway on Sunday 4th September from Glasgow and finishes on Sunday the 11th in London. Many big names are taking part in the race including Mark Cavendish, Andre Greipel, Steve Cummings, Elia Viviani, Sir Bradley Wiggins and others.

The first stage of the race left from George Square before travelling to Kilmarnock, Dalmellington before finishing in Castle Douglas.The weather was warm and sunny and there were a large number of spectators hoping to catch a glimpse of the riders.

Top Cycling Stars

As expected, the Data Dimension team bus was surrounded by a large crowd hoping to see top British rider Mark Cavendish. He did manage to get through the crowds to make his way to the large mobile stage in George Square for the team presentation prior to the commencement of the race. I managed to get a photograph of him making his way to the team presentation.

Mark Cavendish

I also caught a glimpse of Steve Cummings, a teammate of Cavendish who had a stunning solo victory on stage 7 (L’Isle-Jourdain to Lac de Payolle) in this year’s Tour de France.

Steve Cummings
Mark Renshaw

Australian rider Mark Renshaw, is the lead-out man for sprinter Mark Cavendish’s and he was seen chatting to members of the Sky team. His nickname is ‘Prince Harry’, as he bears a resemblance to the British royal prince.

Top German sprinter Andre Greipel was also taking part in the race and got a good reception from the crowd. He was the eventual winner of the stage in Castle Douglas. In this year’s Tour de France Greipel won the final stage in Paris.

Andre Greipal

The race started with 2 laps around the city centre before heading south to Kilmarnock, Dalmellington, St John’s Town of Dalry, Parton and Castle Douglas.

Lap 1 of the race
Lap 1 of the race
Andre Greipel in white jersey
Nicholas Roche (second right) and Italian Road Champion Manuel Quinziato

Nicholas Roche (second right in white jersey in image above) of Team Sky is the son of former pro rider, Stephen Roche, who had a glittering career and won the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and World Road Race in 1987. Nicholas Roche is currently the Irish National Road Race and TT Champion.

Sir Bradley Wiggins
Sprinting for the line

During the second lap 5 riders out in front. The sprint in Clyde Street was won by Jasper Bovenhuis of the An Post – Chain Reaction Cycles team.

Peloton on lap 2
Sir Bradley Wiggins
Rear view

After leaving Glasgow the route was going through some beautiful countryside.on its way to Castle Douglas.

St John’s Town of Dalry

When I was watching the race on TV later, I could remember many of the roads in Dumfriesshire, as I used to stay with my auntie and uncle and five cousins in St John’s Town of Dalry during some of the school holidays. The area is great for cycling and I remembered many of the locations the race was travelling through as I watched it on TV.

The town was used by pilgrims travelling from Edinburgh to the church established by St Ninian at Whithorn. Support was offered to pilgrims by the Knights Hospitaller of the Order of St John of Jerusalem, who owned much of the land on which the village was built until the Reformation.

I would have loved to watch more of the race from the roadside, but I do not have a car and my car-owing friends decided it would be more enjoyable going shopping in the designer shops Glasgow, than watch a great cycle race.

Castle Douglas

The race finished in Castle Douglas with sprinter Andre Greipel winning the 100.5 mile stage. There was a bad crash on the bend leading to the finish which involved Mark Cavendish. Fortunately none of the riders were seriously hurt. Another casualty of the crash was the carbon fibre bike of Team Sky’s Elia Viviani, which was broken in half.

Summary

The start in Glasgow was well organised and the crowds appreciated the event commencing in the city by turning up in large numbers to cheer on the riders. Hopefully more events like this will be held in the city in the future.

Further Information
Tour of Britain