Yesterday, September 11, 2011, the Tour of Britain cycle race came through Wamphray Parish in Dumfries and Galloway!
The cyclists and their entourage would come right down Newton's main street. The most exciting thing to happen in Wamphray since the great flood of 2005? Certainly. I wanted to be there to record the occasion.
This was the presence on 'our corner' as we waited for the cyclists to arrive on their way to Dumfries from their start in Peebles. The weather was not pleasant. Indeed, conditions for the riders were described as 'brutal' by the commentary team on the ITV 4 highlights programme in the evening.
Never mind the cyclists, the Tour is a delight for motorbike fans. It was very impressive to see the organisation that goes on ahead of the race as police and marshalls ensure that the route is made safe. And the banter with the police who stopped at 'our corner' was great fun.
Two cyclists had been in a breakaway almost since the start at Peebles.
That's Russell Hampton of Sigma Sport in front with Pieter Ghyllebert of the An Post Sean Kelly team.
Here comes the peleton.
HTC High Road. Would I be able to pick out Mark Cavendish as the 90 some riders hurtled past?
Several of the Sky team together.
That's Cav, second from the right, I'm pretty sure. I would have loved to have been in Dumfries later to see him being led out for the win by his teammate Mark Renshaw.
A bike change for one rider in the distance, as the HTC Highroad support car comes past. These photos don't really show the speed that the cyclists and cars were going by.
Working hard to catch up on the peleton.
Sky support. Well turned out, even to the number plate!
Bringing up the rear. I note there was a crash at St Ann's bridge. That put Jens Voight in hospital and out of the race, see here. Driving my car in the conditions, and seeing the race highlights later, I have never doubted that professional cyclists are tough customers. They are.
It was over all too quickly, but it was well worth being one of many who watched the race pass by. It was interesting too to see the highlights programme, following roads that I know well. Unsurprisingly, there was no coverage at all going through Wamphray. You saw the riders leaving Moffat, then they were at St Ann's, then in Dumfries. But they WERE here. Wamphray was indeed on the map yesterday!
(As I write this on Monday morning, looking out on the foulest of days, I hear that today's stage from Kendal to Blackpool has been cancelled. I'm not surprised.)
Photos © Skip Cottage