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The pelaton passes Clifton Green near the start of Stage 2 in York
The pelaton passes Clifton Green near the start of Stage 2 in York

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Route No. 557 - Sat & Sun 5/6 July 2014
Stage 1 of Le Tour 2014 (West Tanfield)
Stage 2 of Le Tour 2014 (Clifton Green, York)
Le Grand Depart - Yorkshire . . .

"A reet good send off!"

OK, I know it's not a walk but it has been far too big an event in Yorkshire for me to ignore. Well done Yorkshire!


My wife & I and two of our grandchildren went to West Tanfield in Wensleydale to see Stage 1 of the Tour de France in Yorkshire. It turned out to be a great day for us all . . .


The car park was already filling up as we arrived
on the edge of the village at about 11.00am . . .


The smooth running of everything was helped
along by an army of willing volunteers . . .


It was good to see plenty of essential
facilities as we entered the village . . .


There was a beer tent next to the hog roast
and the big screen to watch the race . . .


An ambulance responder was on standby,
just in case they were needed. . .


The crowd was building as more people
arrived along the route by bike . . .


The fair ground and hot air balloon just across the River Ure from the village . . .


Communications centre for the media at the village hall . . .


The crowd continued to build as the race approached . . .


A group of 'Tour Maker' volunteers . . .

Then there was a surprise. A helicopter flew overhead and landed nearby. Two large black Range Rovers drove into the village and out stepped the Royals! William, Kate & Harry. They spent almost half an hour greeting the local dignitaries and the crowds.


Local dignitaries awaiting the Royals . . .


Here they are . . .


William & Kate meet the local dignitaries . . .


Harry was doing his bit with the crowds too . . .


William & Kate chatting to everyone . . .

At last - 'La Caravane Publicitaire' began to pass through the village . . .









Now for the race itself headed by one of the team of Gendarme motorcyclists . . .





The race was followed by the team cars with plenty of spare bikes . . .



When the race had left the village we made our way to the funfair where we spent some time (& money) before returning to the car park via the hog roast . . .





Near the hog roast a team of Morris Dancers were giving an impromptu performance.
All part of the party atmosphere . . .



The following morning I went with my mate, Jim, to Clifton Green in York to see the beginning of Stage 2 of the Tour. We took our folding chairs and found a place on the kerbside to watch the proceedings . . .


Well, this is what I missed - Two WW2 aircraft flew over twice and I missed then both times! I think they must have been part of The Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight - this time a Lancaster Bomber and a Spitfire? - but I was just too slow with my camera . . .




After 'La Caravane Publicitaire' the riders came by but not actually racing until they reach the outskirts of York on the A59 . . .




After the riders came the team cars loaded with spare equipment . . .

That was it. Two memorable days with huge crowds, just a really good feeling to have been part of it . . .

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