On Monday 7 July 2014, the Tour de France came to East London. For local people lucky enough to get the time off work, the prospect of seeing the best cyclists in the world peddling down Lea Bridge Road, Orient Way and Ruckholt Road was a great spectacle, albeit fleeting. Those boys can really move!
Stage 3 covered 159km and passed through Cambridge, Essex, and London (including Redbridge, Waltham Forest, Hackney and Newham), finishing up at Westminster.
According to the schedule the riders were to be preceded by caravans, so I had an image in my head of a procession of trailers and couldn't really see the connection between them and the cyclists. It turns out that they're not caravans in the traditional sense, but promotional vehicles decked out with the logos of the various race sponsors, playing loud music and throwing freebies to spectators lining the route.
As is typical of East London, there were lots of interesting characters wandering around. While waiting for the race to start I got talking to Caz who was one of the Tour Makers and a keen cyclist herself. Their brightly coloured uniforms were sponsored by Asda.
Considering the fact that it was a week day and the weather was a bit iffy at times, there was a very good turnout and an atmosphere similar to London 2012.
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