Anyone who watched the Tour of Britain coverage today will have seen that the weather gods excelled themselves in Bigtown today for the finish of the race, and indeed the intermediate sprint. Which was unfortunate because we’d cycled down to see it. It’s true that the rain shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise as the weather was predicted to be dire, but I had been hoping that today’s forecast would prove as wrong as the ones we’ve had all week that have been promising us ‘sunny intervals’ and ‘clearing up later’ in the face of almost comically grim endless sideways rain. But no. I know, how long have I lived here?
As it was we did at least manage to repair to the pub while the poor old racers did a circuit round what looked like some of the puddliest roads in pro cycling in the aforementioned sideways rain before squelching back into Bigtown again. And then the rain sort of stopped a little bit – adjusted for South West Scotland – for the finish and the podium presentations where Mark Cavendish won 2 extra jerseys but failed to celebrate in true rural Scottish style by wearing them all at once.
I think the highlight for the other half was not the racing – although he did manage to get a ringside view of Mark Cavendish powering past everyone else as if they were standing still – but the way men of a certain age just couldn’t help checking out his French lovely as they passed. And then we pedalled home into the headwind and the renewed rain and came home and lit the fire and got changed into something dry. Beautiful French racing bikes neither have nor would suit mudguards, you see, so when it’s wet, you get very very wet, and the person following behind them does too. Or at least I would have if I’d been able to cycle fast enough to stay close.