Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Tour of Britain stage 3. The start at Normanby Hall

Hello. Green bicycles have been appearing all over North Lincolnshire over the past few weeks. The flags are out, the balloons are out, and today we host stage three of the Tour of Britain cycle race. Excitement has been building up towards the big day. People have been studying the route which takes in just about all the villages, to find the best vantage point to see the action. It passed the end of my road, but as it's only half a mile to the start, I decided to go there and soak up the atmosphere.  
I arrived at Normanby Hall Country Park at 10.20am. It was due to start at 11am, and the grounds were full of people who had come to support the event. It was a massive operation which would have taken a lot of planning. Roads were closed, no parking signs were put out, and special car parks were set up, to accommodate everyone. The police were getting ready to perform their duties of keeping everyone safe by clearing the way.

Checking the bikes over, making sure the blue lights were working.

Lots and lots of police bikers in attendance.

The support cars loaded up with bicycles were lined up ready to leave. It was a fantastic idea to start the race here in the beautiful grounds of Normanby Hall.

I mingled with the crowds to see what was going on. It was like a party atmosphere.

They had a race for youngsters first. Here they are excitedly waiting to get off.

The compare was doing his stuff, talking about the different teams taking part.

Aha, look who I have spied, David Burns from BBC Radio Humberside. Also known as Burnsy. I said hello and he had to think for a few minutes, who is this woman, ha ha. He was busy working, but after a minute or two he said, Ilona. Yes, Burnsy, you remembered. I have been in the studio with you.

His young assistant took our photo.

Now they are getting the teams up on the stage to introduce them to the crowds. Everyone was cheering.

Some of them have come a long way to take part in this race.

At about five to eleven I made my way up towards the big gates where they would join the road. The escort cars are getting ready.

And here they come, about 200 riders all eager to start the race.

Then they were gone, heading towards the first village of Thealby.

The backup cars followed them out

So that was it, they were gone. But wait a minute, I had a second chance to get more photo's. I walked back towards my village, the cyclists would be coming towards me at some stage. This part of the route was a loop, they went round in a circle and came past Normanby again. Are they coming yet? Nope, walk a bit further.

Just as I came into my village the tension mounted, it wouldn't be long now. They were going at a rate of knots, the whole course of 110 miles would only take them just under four and a half hours.

Not long now, the camera is poised and ready. Don't want to miss them.

 YES, here they are. Wow, they are really flying.

Next the support cars, then it was all over. I chatted to a few people who had come out to see them. All agreed, it was quite exciting. It will be a long time before anything like this happens again in our North Lincolnshire sleepy villages.

Now all we have to do is take all the green bikes back to the council tip, who said they will recycle them and make new bikes. I hope they do.

I've been listening on the radio and they all reached the finishing point at Central Park in Scunthorpe at around 3.20pm. Now they pack everything up and move on to the next stage. If you want to keep up with them, see where they are going next, there are videos and maps on the Tour of Britain web site. 

This is your roving reporter signing off. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip


  1. This has taken me back to when the Tour de France came past our road. It was an amazing show and an experience I was very glad to be able to have. Such fun.
    J x

  2. Ilona, I admire so many things about you. You get yourself out there and you enjoy your life! You inspire me - thank-you. Patricia

  3. They are round our way on Friday might go and see them. They were in Suffolk about 8 years ago (more or less) and I went and watched then too. Gone in a flash! Bradley Wilkins was among them somewhere but can't say I saw him

  4. It's a lovely photo of you and Burnsy-and it was nice he remembered you.The race looked exciting.A few years ago a Olympic torchbearer ran past my house and there were a lot of people cheering,that was nice to see also x

  5. We are watching the Tv coverage of the ToB and the Vuelta...maybe one sees more...but you miss the atmosphere!

  6. thanks for the photos Ilona, looks like you enjoyed the whole affair.

  7. The Tour de France was going past (in France) and the TV crews were using the next door field for their equipment - including the TV helicopter! The crew were great - they let my son sit in the helicopter and fiddle with the controls, amazing...First came the flashing police cars, then the marketing cars with sweets and little gifts chucked out at us from the advertising crew, then the racing cycles zoomed by. All over in a flash of course. Very exciting.

  8. What a great day for our area. It looked brilliant on the television. Thanks for photos. I didn't get many as I was too busy waving my flags. Allison

  9. How exciting! The Invictus Games start here in a couple of weeks and I plan on attending some of the events. The bike races are going to take place in High Park which is just a couple of subway stops away from where I live so I hope to get over to see them.

  10. Very exciting! I love cycling.

  11. I love the first photo that is blurred by the speed as they came past you on your way back home. You have really captured the atmosphere. It looks like a great event.


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