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I laid in wait for the Tour of Britain - stage 8

Helsy33 and Albertina went stalking the ToB on stage 8 yesterday. I took a different hunting option and laid in wait... 

Warning: this a photo heavy post!

I arrived early and got a spot right on the barrier a hundred meters from the finish line with a good view of the big screen. As I arrived the Rapha Condor boys team was having its photo taken with Sir Paul Smith - fashion designer, new sponsor and one-time wannabe bike racer

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Kristian House, Sir Paul Smith and Dan Craven

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"The Dude"

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That over riders started rolling up to the sign-on some in groups others in ones and twos. A few took their time chatting to mates, taking in the sights while others were much more business like. I took hundreds of photos but have picked out the ones I liked or perhaps the female members of PdC will appreciate

An intense looking Euskie - Javier Aramendia I think

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Frederik Willman

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Nico Roche

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Renaud Dion (who spent about 5 minutes just gawping at the big screen taking it all in)

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Rapha Condor - nice kit, nicer bikes...

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Geraint Thomas wearing the intermediate sprint jersey

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Oscar Pujol Muñoz (I think)

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Dan Lloyd

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EBH

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Two Aussies, Graeme Brown and Simon Clarke - GB was riding his bike like that all the way to the start

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Kim Kirchen - with his game face on - or perhaps he's auditioning for the next Terminator movie?

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And Pippo - whose kit did look very cool it must be said

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With the riders signed on they lined up and the team cars came onto the course. By now the crowds were pretty big along the finishing straight

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Then the race started. You can read about what happened elsewhere. Being close to the barriers it was hard to get good photos - either I was gonna hit a rider with my camera or just get a blur as they went passed. Nonetheless a few came out OK

Kristian House about to attack on one of the early laps - or just checking himself out on TV!

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Thomas de Gendt attacking (never!)

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This one I like because it summarises the day nicely for me - a speeding bunch and gawping crowds (me included)

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Dan Craven, Nico Roche and Ed Clancy in a break

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Not a great photo this one but I love the look on Dan Craven's face just after the break was caught - that's what trying to escape the pro peloton feels like (Nico Roche looks OK though)

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And then the race was over: the riders rolled back to their buses and I caught a shot of two Halfords Bikehut riders messing about for the crowds

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I watched the presentations but managed to mainly take pictures of the back of kids on their parents shoulders... so I wandered off with my fill of cycling into central London off and to a party. Only a few streets away it was as though nothing had happened though there was the odd sign for he cognoscenti

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