I spent something like 3 hours on the finishing circuit yesterday, trying to keep up via the commentary with a series of flash pasts of the riders. I was cold and wet despite being dressed for Siberia after riding (yes actual pedalling a bicycle) from our campsite ten miles away to be there and be part of things. We weren't disappointed, the crowd sizes belied the weather, fans from across the world mingled, shared phone feeds and umbrellas and cheered when Mads crossed the line.
During my few days chasing the racing it was clear that come rain or shine, the riders would be cheered on, whether they be the tiny Junior girls or the gritty seasoned Pro's. people on bikes from Harrogate and the four corners of the UK joined with locals and visitors from around the globe. It was great to see the riders we read about in the Comic each week there, in front of us joined by riders who, in reality had little chance of finishing the race let alone being in contention but there nonetheless taking part, the girl from Kuwait struggling minutes behind the field being cheered as loudly as the leaders.
Of course, the Gods were having a bit of a laugh with the weather, by the time we got back to the tents yesterday there was blue sky and it was drying rapidly and my ride back to Sheffield today was dry and sunny!
Looking forward to next year - what do you mean, its not in Yorkshire? Switzerland? really?