The Tour de Force

The Tour de Force

Sunday, 28 June 2015

(Hey You) The Rock Steady Crew! Stage 1: Utrecht...Saturday 27th June 2015

Well, well, we go again! Sorry this is a day late, but we sorta got ourselves a bit busy yesterday...
It's so bad, it's good!

No dramas travelling out to meet Andy in Schipol on Friday evening: he even had a beer waiting for that's how a tour should begin, right? Right. Today was a late start, ahem...lots of admin and handshakes and forgetting peoples' names even though you've met them not twenty seconds ago. I blame Duvel for this!

Yeah, I know it *should* be Heineken but the barrel had just gone. We had no choice, honest! This was post-bimble, btw...
After scrutinising the bikes for a good 10 seconds we declared them fit for purpose. Just like Team Sky, the devil is in the detail.

The standard inane grins of eejits who have little idea what they've let themselves in for...
Utrecht gearing-up for Le Grand Depart!
A little mouse with clogs on just out of shot!
Today's stage was a potter around Utrecht which was confined to cycle lanes and there was tons of stopping and starting at traffic lights, so no PBs were set, hah-hah! I was just pleased that we all managed to stay upright for the whole 8 mean feat I assure you.

After that it was a couple of briefings about the essential admin and how the tour is run etc.: they even give you the opportunity to change your room-mate. Perish the thought...although I'm sure that I detected a sideways glance from Le Tracteur!

We then we legged-it to The Tivoli to see Kasabian. Top venue matched by a top performance by the band! Post-show is when the wheels came off the wagon slightly: the hotel bar was still open, hah-hah!

Top organisation!
"Help me..."
Ace venue and a band and audience who were having a ball!
Great to hear this covered too...

As the old chestnut goes: there really is nothing like preparing properly for a Grand Tour. And that really was nothing like preparing properly, hah-hah!

Here's a reminder of why the sponsorship is important...this tour is organised on behalf of a charity called the William Wates Memorial Trust. No, I had never heard of them either until last year but what they do is give grants to projects in the UK that help kids who haven't had the best start in life or to charities that aim to develop and help young people see what they are capable of through the arts, sport and education. Big things, big achievements like the Duke of Edinburgh award!

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I do have a bit of previous...

2014: 1000 miles solo & unsupported out to France, then La Bicinglette...6 x Mont Ventoux in a day!

2013: 1000 miles solo & unsupported out to Austria, then the worst climbs in The Dolomites!

2012: The inaugural Haute Route sportive from Geneva to Nice, followed by the worst Pyrenean climbs!

2011: 3500 miles across North America...coast to coast!

2010: 1600 miles from Gibraltar to Blackpool!

2009: 1000 miles from Land's End to John O'Groats!

2008: 250 miles from Blackpool to London!

2007: 100 miles around Manchester!

2006: 0.5 mile to corner shop!