On Yer Bike!
w/e 13 September 2015
All of this week's pictures were
taken with a Kodak DX6490
Stage 6 of the Aviva Tour of Britain Cycle Race passed
through Ilkeston on Friday 11th September and I joined crowds
of people near the top of Nottingham Road to witness the passage
of the cyclists through the town.
People started to gather around 2pm and some of them are seen
here at the top of Derby Road when expectations of the imminent
arrival of the leaders was raised by the arrival of a police
motorcyclist (photo timed at 3.06pm) who pulled up to help control
the flow of traffic around the White Lion Square island. Ilkeston
Craft Bombers had earlier placed a decorated bike on the island
to celebrate the event and it is visible on the right of the
above picture. Click
here to see a close up of the bike on their Facebook page.
More police motorcyclists passed by leapfrogging each other to
ensure the road ahead was clear for the main event. In fact so
many roared down Nottingham Road that some in the crowd began
to wonder if it was a motorbike race rather than a cycle race.
As more and more people arrived to take up their positions hoping
for a good view of the race, the first bikes appeared - on top
of one of the support cars!
The steady drone of a helicopter from where aerial coverage of
the race was being beamed to television screens all over the
land meant that the leaders were not far away.
And seconds later at 3.12pm the leading four swept round White
Lion Square and started down Nottingham Road closely followed
by another motorbike with a TV cameraman on board.
Less than a minute later a clutch of riders took the same line
to head out of town through Trowell and on to the finish of Stage
6 in Nottingham.
The peloton was followed by more support vehicles and as traffic
returned to normal, roads were opened again, and the crowd started
to disperse. There was a collective sense of "Well is that
it? That didn't last long." It was just 3.14pm.
I was still close to Nottingham Road some 40 minutes later and
was alerted to something else when several police motorbikes
with flashing blue lights roared past the end off Dale Street.
Before I could get the camera switched on again a whole load
of cyclists followed the motorbikes to be followed themselves
by another posse of support vehicles at 3.55pm.
Even then there was still time for a few more stragglers in the
race to pass by. It was now 3.56pm
As the final riders negotiated Gnome Island in the midst of normal
everyday traffic I pondered whether, on this sunny September
afternoon and with this stage passing mainly through Derbyshire
and the Peak District, the riders had decided to enjoy the ride
taking in the scenery and left the racing for another day. These
final few riders seemed in no great hurry to get to the finish
in Nottingham anyway. And that my friends, is the last of the
Aviva Tour of Britain through Ilkeston for 2015 - unless of course
you know different and more cyclist came through later still!