Perhaps it’s just as well that there’s now less than a month to go before the Grand Depart of the Tour de France here in Utrecht. Bicycles are obviously a common sight, but the amount of yellow popping up is definitely increasing, as is the amount of — at times — cheesy promotional stuff. Take this flag hanging outside the entrance for the Domtoren tours. Throw in some yellow, a bicycle, and a random apostrophe, and suddenly anything can be related to the Tour de France. Zut alors!
OMG, y’all! For the first time in more than a month, I left the house to go somewhere other than work! Six days a week, working two jobs, has left me little time or energy to do much of anything. But a quiet Sunday morning is one of my favorite times to go for a walk and with the heat abating a bit, as well, I set out for a short photo walk.
I had the Stadhuisbrug in mind today for a specific reason. Today is the last 137 kilometers of the Tour de France. Next stop? Utrecht! As I’ve mentioned before, Utrecht will be the site of the Grand Depart for the 2015 Tour de France. Various decorations, signs, and banners have been popping up around town already. The latest is this sculpture on the Stadhuisbrug.
I learned from experience when another sculpture representing the Vrede van Utrecht (Treaty of Utrecht) was in the same spot that it is best to go when few people are around, otherwise it’s almost impossible to get a decent shot. There’s always someone on it or in front of it. Fortunately, the people who were on it today were on the other side and don’t show up too much and the nearby tour group was focused on something else.
I managed to get it from a couple of angles, including with the Wilibrordkerk and its spire in the background, and one with a nice bit of shadow on the ground.
I haven’t followed any of the race this year, despite my best intentions, but I really hope to get to see some of it here next year. They will be going down part of Biltstraat, although I think they turn off before they get to Vino Veritas, but I’d love to see them going under the Domtoren. Regardless, best of luck to the racers today. See you in Utrecht next year!
As mentioned previously, the Tour de France Grand Depart in 2015 will take place here in Utrecht. Today, the official routes were announced and there will be a big celebration taking place at the Domplein tonight at 7 p.m.
I really wish it was any night other than tonight, because I would like to go. However, today is also the American holiday, Thanksgiving, which involves a big dinner, which will probably be going on at 7 p.m. Sure, it’s just G and I, and we could have postponed it until tomorrow or celebrated whenever we want (or not at all), but I prefer to celebrate the holidays on the actual day whenever possible.
So instead, I wandered around town a bit today and saw some of the decorations going up around town. I knew the Domtoren was flying yellow flags, but I wasn’t expecting the yellow carpets being rolled out everywhere. The Winkel van Sinkel is also home to some of the celebrations tonight, including some of the press conferences.
It looked like the police were even getting in on the yellow decorations. Or maybe they were just wearing their usual yellow hi-viz coats. Because regular people riding bicycles here don’t wear special clothing, but police on horseback do.
Today’s big news is that the 2015 Tour de France will start off here in Utrecht. There’s been a lot of will they/won’t they going on for the past few weeks (months), but the official announcement came today.
To celebrate, the Domtoren has been festooned with yellow flags (in reference to the yellow jersey of the Tour de France). You can’t see the yellow flags that clearly in my photo, but I kind of dig the way the whole photo looks vaguely flat like an old-fashioned painted backdrop or stage set.
It’s not the first time we’ve had a bicycle race come through town. The Giro d’Italia passed through in 2010, but this will perhaps be a bit bigger, particularly as we’re the starting point. I wonder if they’ll ride on the Maliebaan, site of the first official bicycle path here in the Netherlands.