Elite Men get Rain Rain Rain

At one point in the night it rained so hard it was almost as if someone had turned a tap on, but by the time I got up it had slackened. I actually thought it had stopped but when I took Missy out for a little walk I found that it was coming down almost sideways as a very fine mist.

We found out that the route for the men’s race has been changed because of the amount of water at the bottom of two of the planned climbs, so to make up part of the missing 50 km they’re now going to do nine circuits of the last 14 km instead of seven. The race will be a little shorter than the original route, but we get to see them nine times!

The rain started in earnest again as we ate breakfast, so I’m not planning any long walks today. The campervan is snug and warm – the only thing we’re missing is the tv as we’re close to trees and the satellite can’t find anything. We do get updated commentary from cyclingnews online, and Anthony next door has a tiny tv in his vw van that gets a signal via an aerial rather than a dish.
Because of the unrelenting rain we decided not to put the flags up, with the exception of my maple leaf – I improvised and attached it to the bike rack with some clothes pegs.

We have more than one course marshall with us to warn the riders of the upcoming steep downhill and sharp corners.
One of them had forgotten his whistle so I went inside the campervan and retrieved mine – Colin had gotten it for me last year and it’s now attached to a Tour de France ribbon.
The rain never did quit so to avoid getting my camera wet Colin held the umbrella so I could stay dry while taking photos. The first couple of times the racers came around there was a breakaway that included Canadian Hugo Houle.
Each time the race by came there were fewer riders, as more and more gave up when they passed through Harrogate. At one point my camera stopped working – I wondered if the battery had died, but I had just put a fully charged one in so that couldn’t be the problem – actually the memory card was full! I’ve taken so many photos this trip I’ve filled up a card – luckily Colin had an extra one that works for my Canon, so I was ok.
After the shrunken group had passed for the ninth and last time we all crowded around Anthony’s van to watch the end on tv. Sagan had left it too late and a young Dane, Pederson ended up winning. Of the 197 riders that started the day in Leeds only 46 finished the race – a very brutal world championships!

Rather than waiting until the roads reopened and fighting the extra traffic we had already decided to spend another night in our little pullout and get an early start home in the morning.

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