Monday, 8 September 2014

The day the Tour of Britain came to Llandudno !

I know nothing about cycling, well virtually nothing. I don't know the rules, the riders or have any familiarity with anything to do with the sport.
However, today, The "Tour of Britain" came to Llandudno so I decided to take a look. After all, the amount of disruption to normal everyday routine for many people was quite considerable. Roads closed, parking restricted for many hours in advance of the appearance of the riders, much chaos all around.The race was due to finish right here in town on the promenade with an approximate time of around 3.00pm. Even at 9.00am there was a hive of activity by the organisers. Cars were being towed away in numbers, the owners had obviously chosen to ignore all the signs so could have little to complain about, diverted traffic was starting to back up as people tried to reach their workplace or take the children to school.
Was it worth all the effort ? Well, I might as well check it out.
It was an opportunity for me to try some different kind of photography , an opportunity to test my camera for the function it was primarily designed for.... sports. It was to be a learning curve!
I decided to try and find a spot where the riders were heading uphill and they would be moving a little slower, and somewhere with a fairly distant view to give more opportunity of capturing the action.
The final section on the way around the Great Orme was perfect, I knew if the sun shone it would be on that side of the Orme too, and as it was a reasonable walk out of town, fewer people to get in the way.
My first impressions were the followers, well the serious ones anyway. Lookalikes of their sporting heroes perhaps ?

Some attired in all the gear,some not
Some just flying the flag !
As the time approached for the arrival of the contestants, more and more vehicles started passing.
Skoda after Skoda !
after Skoda
Well they are one of the sponsors and make excellent cars... I have got one !
The boys in blue were there to ensure everyone behaved.
Both local
and apparently from across the border too
They it appears, seem to favour BMW !
Some on four wheels, some on two
The anticipation was starting to build with the increase in traffic. Sirens and flashing lights all part of the atmosphere.
Suddenly we had our first sighting of the leading riders and a concentration of blue lights.
A breakaway of a couple of bikes
But could he hang on ?
Well, only for a while it later appeared
The lead changes on a regular basis it seems.
Following hard on their heels comes the pack
The numbers go past in next to no time
One huge fluid body of riders
Recognise any ?
That was a Knight of the Realm !
How they avoid one massive pile up is beyond me.
That said, accidents are a regular feature. These guys have got bottle.
After the masses come the few.
The support vehicles seem to hassle them in their desperation to keep up with the pack
For some it seems the hill seemed steeper than for others
But they were only a very short distance and time behind the leaders
The final three were past and then it was just the support vehicles and it was all over.
I guess it was all over in a few minutes... and I was in a slower section.
Was it all worth the effort ?
Well I enjoyed the challenge of capturing it on camera anyway !

1 comment:

  1. Cycling is a tough sport, dominated by team tactics.
    The guys in the group slipstream each other, so their effort is about a third less than if they were biking alone.
    The leaders get much less help, in this case just 2 guys sharing the work of staying ahead of the pack.
    Staying ahead for half a day is really hard, so most breakaways are caught well before the finish line.
    The winning team will have positioned one of their better riders to break away at the end or to sprint to victory.
    Tactics aside, it is really a sport where people can get close to athletes giving their all. Not something that is readily found elsewhere.