Those familiar with the content I upload to this blog will be aware that I like to get a bit of cycling photography done where I can. The past weekend as well as the 2014 Giro d’italia starting in Belfast also marked the final two stages of the 1st Women’s tour in Britain. A 5 stage race around mainly eastern England, a great opportunity for Women’s cycling to raise it’s profile a bit more and bring it’s profile closer to that of Men’s Cycling.
Anyway I went along to the start of stage 4 of the tour, which began in Cheshunt, Herts before heading off to Welwyn Garden City to the north. The significance of the stage start was that it was the town where riders Laura & Emma Trott grew up, so a lot of focus was on them, especially after a nasty accident for Laura on the previous stage.
Below are some mobile & digital camera photos I took at the start of the stage.
In the hour leading up to the stage start the riders from each team came up the the stage to sign on and have photos taken. Above are the teams of Lotto Belisol of Emma Pooley (far right) & UnitedHealthcare of Hannah Barnes (far left)
As the riders formed at the start line, the main contenders and jersey holders came to the front along with Laura & Emma Trott who would lead the peloton on the neutralized first section through the streets of Cheshunt.
The two riders who contested the gold & silver at the Olympic road race in 2012 lined up at the front. Brit Lizzie Armitstead in the national jersey with World Champion Marianne Vos in the background wearing the tour leader yellow jersey, which she would go on to win the following day.
It was great to see the crowds out in force along the route during the 5 days really helping promote Women’s cycling as a sport. Hopefully this tour will become an annual fixture that will visit more of the country in the coming years.
A strong start to a great summer of cycling in Great Britain, with the Giro underway, the tour series taking place in towns & cities over the next month. Following that is the London Nocturne race around Smithfield market in London on June 7th. Just a month later marks the Grand Depart of the 2014 Tour De France in Leeds before it heads through Yorkshire for two stages and then from Cambridge to London on the third stage on the 7th of July. Following that is the RideLondon cycle event in August and the Tour Of Britain cycle race with it’s higher UCI classification in September. I will be there at some point of each of those events taking photos & blogging some of them on here.