I once saw the Tour de France glide through Ireland. Yes, Ireland. This year, it started again in London, where it has been a regular attraction. Yesterday, it passed right through Ghent, Belguim, where my girlfriend happens to be for a couple of weeks. She reported that the crowds were milling around so close to the cyclists that she didn’t know how they managed to get through at all. The atmosphere must have been electric…but it sadly went right over her head. She isn’t that interested in sport. What a waste! 🙂
There’s a BBC Blog about the Tour, and Phil S. says: “Ghent was full of crazy fans. I don’t think there’s a group of cycling afficionados as passionate as the Flemish. The finish straight was jam packed and there were parties in every apartment lining the last few hundred metres – and that was three hours before the finish!
Three alcohol-fuelled hours later and with a Belgian winner it sounded more like a football match. Quickstep were obviously happy but as the rest of the peloton began to arrive in dribs and drabs there were some pretty bad injuries. Tomas Vaitkus was crying with pain, and he’s a pretty big strong guy. It was a bit shocking really, and it made me think how incredibly tough some of these guys are to get back on and ride through the pain. Definitely not a time to be taking photos.”