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Tour de France in Medway 2007
The Tour de France came to Medway on Sunday, 8 July 2007, with
Stage 1 passing through Strood, Gillingham, Chatham and Rochester
en route from London to Canterbury, bringing with it world-class
cyclists and all the glitz and glamour of professional cycling.
There was a carnival atmosphere in Medway on the day and thousands
of people lined the route, especially in Strood, Gillingham,and
Rochester where big screens were provided to watch the race.
For one and half hours before the race, the caravan of sponsors
cars, floats and vehicles passed with colour and noise, along with
TV, press and French and English police motorcycles. Just before
noon, television helicopters hovered overhead as the cyclists
closed in on Medway. Britain's David Millar led the race going in
to Medway and at one stage was five minutes ahead of the peleton.
Millar won the sprint competition through Gillingham, earning bonus
points towards the green jersey.
Top right: David Millar and team car on the A289 at
Frindsbury (photo by courtesy of the council's Integrated Transport
At New Road, Chatham, Millar was caught by four other cyclists
in a following group of breakaway cyclists before heading out to
Borstal and Maidstone. The peleton followed, with vast crowds by
watching the spectacle. By 12.30pm the cyclists and the tour had
been and gone but the memories they will leave will last for a long
Stage 1 was won by Australia's Robbie McEwen who, having crashed
earlier in the stage, fought his way back through the field and won
a storming sprint finish on the line in Canterbury. Millar also
picked up the polka-dot king of the
mountains jersey on this stage.
Right: One of the many sponsors' vehicles passing
through as part of the caravan at Rochester Castle (photo by
courtesy of Enrico Seccatore).
Left: The peleton passing through Gillingham Gate
(photo by courtesy of Stuart Thomas Photography).