Monday, July 9, 2007

"Tour De France 2007" in Gent, Belgium

A life time opportunity is what I would call it :) Watching the world's best known cycling race.. The "Tour de France".. The 3 week long race started in London on 7th July as completed the first stage yesterday. Today the 2nd stage in Dunkirk and ended in my own city "Gent", and the best thing- the end point just 300 meters from my apartment :D Though the streets seemed less crowded today, we had to be sure we left pretty early to catch a good place to get the best view.. The end point was so crowded that we preferred going a little ahead... Though I didnt know any cyclists (except David Miller), I just didnt want to miss an opportunity to see the race.. There were two Belgian cyclists whom we had to cheer ;) Sharing some snaps of the lovely experience...
Click on the pics to view high resolution

The teams had their buses in Gent a long time before the race ended.. This is the first thing we came across after we left our appartment.. At about 3:30 pm

Two hours before the end.. Seems no one wanted to miss anything so everyone has left early :)

Now this is height of enthusiasm.. Atleast spare the signals.. There's still a lot time from them to arrive!! :)
Center of attraction ;) There was not one high place left for me ;)

Some carnivals to entertain the crowd till the real entertainment comes in...

The scene an hour before.. I envy the guys standing on the terrace of their appartmets!

Police patrolling ...

Why to miss a golden opportunity to advertise your products? ;)

The aerial cameras..

Now this is real money making business... Selling soveniers for "oh-my-god" prices!

Above to arrive.. everyone is on thier tows.. some on other's shoulders ;)

Did not get to click the snaps of the first batch of cyclists as I just didnt want to miss "the" moment by clicking snaps.. Soon got a good place and some good snaps as well.. here they go...
Here come the local favourites.. the Belgian participants!

Some others follow as well...

Everyone being cheered.. be it in batches or all alone.. A warm welcome n lotsa cheer is an important factor for them to keep going!

The best part.. the cyclists, though competitors, seemed so friendly n comfortable with each other.. chatting along n cheering up each other as they made it to the finish...

God.. how can they seem so fresh after cycling so much!! :)

The cyclist on the extreme left (in yellow jersey) is "Fabian Cancellara", who's leading currently (combining timings for last 3 days).. Seems he had a tough time today after falling in the crash.. Details a bit later..
Some more cyclists...
And more...

And finally the last one! :)

The support system makes thier way as well :D

I suppose this was much needed today.. There was a crash just 3 km from the end point in which nearly 170 cyclists suffered.. Hence the second batch and the others arrived much later than the first...
Time to go towards the finish...
Had a tough time making way back home...

The media.. saw some real editing being done in these huge buses n caravans..
The freshened-up participants after the 168.5 km drive.. Phew!

Thats all from me :) Read rest in papers! ;)


Sreelu said...

Hey Arts,

did not know that you were in Gent, we visied Gent 3 weeks back and had a blast,also went to Brugge and Brussels.
Beautiful city loved your chips with curry sauce.

Asha said...

WOW!! Great pics.I just saw 30 cyclists plied up on one another on CNN!:D
Loved the photos,enjoy there girl.I have been to Paris once long time ago!Europe is cool!:))

Richa said...

hey, lovely pics, you must 've really had a great time :)
was looking for ur pic amidst all the cyclists :)

Arts said...

So how did u find Gent?I bet u loved it!

I missed seeing it live ;)
Europe is beautiful..start planning ur net vacation here :)

Aga majhya sponsors objection ghetil majhe photos post kelet tar ;)

SACH said...

so lucky you are :)))) !!!