Tour Of Britain 2012
Tour of Britain 2012
This Sunday the 9thSeptember see’s the start of the Tour of Britain. This is an 8 stage race that covers a large part of the country.
The race started in its original form in 1945 and has gradually evolved over the years to form the modern race that we know and love today. I suppose for many of you reading this you will remember it mainly by its old name, the milk race. This was when the milk marketing board was its main sponsor for around 35 years from 1958.
Since then it has had a few change in names and sponsors such as the Kellogg’s Tour and the Pru Tour. The race we see today was started in 2004 and very sensibly named The Tour of Britain. It was reinvented as a 5 stage race but was extended in 2008 to an 8 stage race that we have now.
For me this year’s race is especially interesting because it starts in my home town of Ipswich. This means hopefully I will be able to get to see some of the riders close up. The first stage is also the longest of the tour winding its way up the Suffolk coast into Norfolk and finishing up at the Norfolk showground 199.6km. It should be a good start for the riders too with the weather looking as though it will be kind to them.
This year’s race takes the riders as far north as Jedburgh and as far south as Dartmouth so hopefully you will be able to see it somewhere along the way. If you haven’t seen it before I would highly recommend that you make the effort this year, I promise you won’t be disappointed. Last year I went to see two stages. The first of which was very near to my home. We got to our spot at the side of the road in good time, the anticipation of what was about to come past us was brilliant.
We watched and we waited and then suddenly a whole team of police motorcycle riders came flying along, stopping at junctions to halt the traffic. When the next motorcycle came up behind them, the front one would zoom off to the next one forming a rolling road block. This was a very exciting prelude to the field of riders that came into view along the straight road that we were on.
Now here’s a little tip for you. It’s nice to take pictures of such an event but in my opinion you would be better off just watching it and soaking up the atmosphere as they come past so fast that you can’t really pick out your favourite riders at all. If you are trying to do this through a camera lens you’ve got virtually no chance and it becomes a bit of a disappointment. It’s nice to have a record of the day but get someone else to take pictures who haven’t read this, that way you may also be in the shots too.
The race is now part of the U.C.I Europe tour which means it attracts some big names such as Team Sky, Rabobank and Quickstep. Don’t forget the big name riders too. This year we have Mark Cavendish and the hopefully soon to be honoured Bradley Wiggins, as well as the likes of Ivan Basso and Johnny Hoogerland who you may remember had that awful crash in the 2011 Tour de France when he was hit by a team car and catapulted into a barbed wire fence.
This year’s tour should be the best yet with the surge in popularity of cycling from Bradley winning the Tour de France to the Olympics, So get out there and support the riders if you can. There is great coverage every day on ITV 4 and I will be doing a daily blog to cover each stage, so stay tuned to read about the days events.