Freesteel Blog » Tour de France at Buttertubs

Tour de France at Buttertubs

Sunday, July 6th, 2014 at 3:18 pm Written by:

The Tour de France did their first stage through Yorkshire, crossing Buttertubs north of Hawes. This is quite a long way from Bull Pot Farm where we stayed, so I got a lift most of the way out and completely failed to find Becka and the others on the hill. (Luckily, I was carrying the lunch.) Who knew there would be such an incredible crowd and no phone signal on such a bleak moor? It was more packed than the Col d’Aubisque when we saw the Tour three years ago.

The ridiculous caravan was the same, albeit shorter and with not so many freebies being chucked out. You got to admire that corporate consumer product sculpture that gets paraded all up and down the countryside.

It was a really biting cold wind in the open. At least it blew the midges away. Take your pick. It’s a bad year for midges.

The leader Jens Voigt came through much earlier than the pack, ten minutes after an unexplained flyby of four helicopters.
This was further up the hill from the real packed crowd on the steep bit where there was barely any room for the riders to squeeze through.

Then it was time to clear the hillside. It became apparent that every man and woman that owned a fancy bike anywhere in a 200 mile radius was on that road trying to get off at the same time. All the cyclist spectators overtook me on the road back to Ingleton in a steady stream, because I’m really quite slow. There were no other cycles on the stretch back to the farm: just me. Some DVDs of the live race had been burned and driven up the track by the time I got there, so we could watch the whole race and all the stuff we’d missed while we had our tea.

Apparently that’s the real way to do it: sit in a cafe or pub on the route watching the live race on the TV, then step outside for the split second it goes past in real life, then get back in and carry on watching on the screen while you enjoy your beverages in the warmth.

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