How to get stupidly excited about men cycling up a hill

So, I decided to go and watch the York to Sheffield leg of the British leg of the Tour de France.

Heading over to the packed Cote de Bradfield climb with my boyfriend, his brother and his teen kids the atmosphere was electric.

TdF,-Jo-on-Cote-de-Bradfield

Hours ahead of the riders’ estimated 3.30pm arrival time at the Cote de Bradfield, the second to last climb of the day and seven miles from the finish, there were already a gazillion people in situ but managed to find a patch of wall to sit on… for the next three hours. Comfy.

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People had heeded the advice to travel to the event on public transport or by bike.

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Saying that, there was some sensational parking.

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Even walking up the steeply gradiented hills was too much for some, let alone lung-busting cycling pitted against your rivals.

TdF,-kid-carried

Babies, kids, adults, and dogs packed the route gaining whatever crumb of comfort they could.

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TdF,-crowd-roadside

TdF,-kid-in-road

By the time the promotional caravan arrived we were giddy with excitement that something – anything – was happening. The odd-looking plastic figures atop a fake mountain got an almighty roar…

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… giant bottles of wine on cars were dementedly cheered …

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… and the dancing banana almost tipped us over the edge.

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But the outstanding source of entertainment for the day – outside of the riders, of course, – was the young lady standing in a throng of thousands, bellowing into her mobile phone, “I can’t believe you can’t see me, I’m right here,” while waving frantically in the melee. To be fair, we were all easily amused by this stage.

By the time the riders actually arrived, I was a choked up, back-aching, giggling, bundle of fandom. Yes, that is my excuse for being completely overwhelmed in the video below.

Copyright for video and photos Jo Gunston.

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Author: Jo Gunston

Roving blogging superfan shares behind the scenes stories of her sports life and the best of those from like-minded souls.

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