PICTURE UPDATE: Reepham turns out in force to cheer Tour of Britain cyclists
© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2011
In a whirr of wheels and rainbow flash of multi-coloured Lycra, the Tour of Britain cycle race sped through Reepham on Saturday lunchtime.
Hundreds of flag waving fans used every vantage point to grab a glimpse of some of the world’s top cyclists.
Some watched from first floor windows, other sat on shop roofs, a large number crowded in to the church yard and the people several deep in places packed in to the Market Place and roads through the town.
Several shops had put up flags and posters and an excited atmosphere built up as the crowds waited for the cyclists.
A heavy shower fell on the town as the early arrivals assembled but it soon cleared and the streets were bathed in sunshine at the key moments.
Cheers greeted every police motorcyclist and support vehicle and the drivers responded with waves and tunes from their sirens.
The volume of the ovation rose considerably as the leading pack of six riders race through and peaked again a few minutes later as the chasing pack followed.
A group of cyclists from CC Breckland set up a display and fancy dress and decorated bike competition outside the Post Office which is run by George Johnson, 74, who is a member and rides about 100 miles a week.
“It is absolutely fantastic for them to come here,” said Mr Johnson, who praised Norfolk County Council and Broadland District Council for their support of the tour.
Mr Johnson has seen top cyclists in many races, including the Tour De France but said it was very special for them to pass his shop.
Among the attractions in the Market Place was former Norwich City footballer Jeremy Goss promoting a static bike to raise money for the Norwich and Norfolk Association for the Blind.
He cycled nearly 1300 miles over 11 days in his Back to Bayern challenge and was in awe of the competitors.
“It is great to see the professionals at the top. What I did was just a warm up for them.”
Bill Quinney. of Quinney chartered accountants in Reepham Market Place, said: “There is a real buzz in the community and it is good for the town.”
Philip Morter, who runs Bennetts in Reepham, said: “It is really exciting and very good for the town as it brings lots of people in.”
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