The following guest blog was written by Chris Chapman a competition winner who won a 2 night break a Low Wood Bay and the opportunity to follow the race in one of the official Tour of Britain Race cars as the race passed through Cumbria in September.
Monday morning early and I’m in the car travelling across the fells to Carlisle. The riders are signing on as I arrive. This is where my involvement with the race would normally end but today is different. Thanks to my competition prize I am a passenger in one of the official cars leading out the riders through the streets of Carlisle. Then we head out towards the west; police motorcyclists zooming ahead to control the traffic, team cars with racks of bikes on their roofs, cameramen on motorbikes, all part of the cavalcade.
Then the rain started; driving soaking rain with a whipping wind off the sea. Did it deter the spectators? No chance! Full marks to the people of Cumbria for turning out in their thousands to cheer on the cyclists. Such enthusiasm – even a passenger like me in the official car got the treatment, and my arms got tired with waving to cheering crowds as if I was royalty. The school children were out in force; from the tiny tots in their matching hi-viz vests, smiling and waving, right through to the senior pupils, enjoying the occasion and undaunted by the driving rain. (more…)