September 21 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, July 10, 2014
People came from far and wide to savour the magic of the Tour de France on the streets of Saffron Walden.
Packed crowds erupted as the best cyclists in the world sped by them within 120 seconds.
It was a day to remember for young and old as the town took centre stage for one of the biggest sporting events on the planet.
Tracy Saunders, from Long Sutton in Lincolnshire, came down to Saffron Walden to watch the event with family.
She said: “It was fantastic, it really was. The atmosphere was brilliant, the tour makers so helpful and everybody really got into the spirit of the day. To see the riders come through was a real adrenaline rush.”
Her 18-year-old son, Michael Cole, added: “It was brilliant. I’ve been looking forward to it for over a year. I’m a big Team Sky fan - Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas, Richie Porte, all of them!”
Richard Herd and his wife Pauline, both 67, of Stephen Neville Court, have now had experience of the Tour at home and abroad. The couple spend six months of the year in Saffron Walden and the rest of the time in France.
Mr Herd said: “It was terrific. People in France are a little bit more laid back than they have been here because it’s new, it’s exciting.
“It’s so good to see such enthusiasm.
“We’ve lived here 25 years and I’ve never seen anything like this before. It’s been an absolutely brilliant atmosphere that built up gradually throughout the day.”
Friends’ School pupil Frank Dudley, 13, was delighted to have the opportunity to see the world’s top riders in action.
He said: “We thought it was incredible, amazing and mind-blowing. I think those three words sum it up. The Caravan was good at entertaining people beforehand, too.
“I’m supporting Team Sky and we brought a homemade flag with us today!”
His sister Georgia, 10, added: “I found the day really interesting and inspiring because I like cycling.
“I really enjoyed how fast they came through and the crowds were incredible. There was a long wait but it was definitely worth it.”
Here are two galleries of photos of the crowds.
For more, check out this Thursday’s Saffron Walden Reporter.
Anyone who has their own photos, please e-mail them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will publish as many as we can.
• See the rest of our galleries, including pictures of Chris Froome and Team Sky, via the Tour de France section of our website.