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Tour of Britain

There was an unusual air of excitement and activity around British Camp this lunch-time. I read in the local paper on Friday that the Tour of Britain cycle race would be passing through, and using the steep climb up to British Camp for the “King of the Mountains”. Well, the Malvern Hills hardly count as “mountains”, but it is undoubtedly a long and steep climb up the hill from the valley below. The world and his wife were expected at British Camp to watch the final stages of the climb. The paper’s advice was to get there early to get a decent vantage point, as it was expected to get very busy.  A close look at the route, prompted by an email from my sister, showed me that I wouldn’t even have to walk up the hill for ten minutes to see the race – the route went right past my house!

The first sign of activity was from cars using my drive to turn around in – the car parks were all full, and they were parking on the verges all the way down the hill. Then the police out-riders started going past, setting up a moving roadblock in front of the race. It was a good day to be a burglar in Worcestershire – I reckon there must have been thirty or more police motorcyclists involved! Then there were the race cars and race stewards on motorcycles, one of whom did stop briefly on my drive before thinking better of it and blocking my neighbour’s drive instead.

The leading group

A helicopter was hovering overhead, but it didn’t look like a police or air-ambulance, so I suspect it was a heli-telly. Finally, after a huge amount of fuss and build-up, the leading group of cyclists came into view, followed a few seconds later by the peloton, and then huge numbers of support cars with bikes on the roof, three ambulances and yet more police cars and motorbikes.

Whizzing past

Apparently, Mark Cavendish was in the race somewhere. I’ve heard the name but they all look pretty much the same in their lycra uniforms so I’ve no idea which one he was.