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Tour de France in Medway 2007

The Tour de France came to Medway on Sunday, 8 July 2Photo of David Millar and team car on the A289 at Frindsbury (photo by courtesy of the council's Integrated Transport Team).007, 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 Team).

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 RochesterPhoto of One of the many sponsors' vehicles passing through as part of the caravan at Rochester Castle (photo by courtesy of Enrico Seccatore). Castle 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 time.

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 ofPhoto of the peleton passing through Gillingham Gate (photo by courtesy of Stuart Thomas Photography) 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).

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