Fringe Box



Thousands In Guildford High Street Cheer Home Tour of Britain Winners

Published on: 16 Sep, 2012
Updated on: 16 Sep, 2012

Tour of Britain winner Jonathan Tiernan-Locke salutes the crowds in Guildford High Street.

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Jonathan Tiernan-Locke from Plymouth won the Tour of Britain in a jam packed Guildford High Street this afternoon (Sunday, September 16).

“It’s fantastic,” said the 27-year-old Devon man. “It has not really sunk in yet. It was a tough day, a lot tougher than we thought. So I feel relief more than anything.”

Tiernan-Locke is the first British rider to win the Tour of Britain in 19 years as Mark Cavendish the 2011 Road Race World Champion and Olympic cyclist won his third stage of the race.

Stage Winner Mark Cavendish Crosses the line arms aloft

For a few hours Guildford became the focus of the cycling world as the man from Britain maintained his overall lead to claim victory. The stage winner Cavendish raised his arms in triumph as he sprinted into a clear lead and crossed the line. “It was my last day in the [world champion’s] rainbow jersey and I wanted to finish it off in style,” he said.

Cavendish and Tiernan Locke were roared to victory by around 15,000 fans (police estimate) on the sprint to the High Street finish line. “It was absolutely incredible,” Cavendish said. “The amount of people out on the road has been like the Olympic Games.”

“I thought I’d been forgotten about and everyone was about sideburns now,” he joked.

Crowds at the finish line in front of Holy Trinity Church.

The event rounds off a fantastic summer of sports in Britain and there were load cheers for Tiernan Locke, a new name to add to our list of national sporting heroes, as he waved to the crowd in front of Holy Trinity Church following his interview for Channel 4 TV.

The crowd was made up of some Guildfordians but mainly, it seemed, from cycling fans that had come from across the region.

Suitable vantage points were found – here from the Guildford Castle car park.

Guildford has probably never seen a bigger sporting event. Outside broadcasting trailers were parked up for almost the entire length of North Street. The crowd of thousands was unable to disperse for more than 20 minutes after the finish but everyone was patient and in good spirits.

Cyclists pass through St Catherine’s Village for a second time on their way to the finish line at the top of Guildford High Street.

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The Guildford Dragon News wishes to thank Abbot’s Hospital and its master, Tony Richmond, who kindly allowed us on to the roof and upper floors to take photographs. As well as photography by the website’s Martin Giles and David Rose, pictures were also taken by Mike Bennett and John Schluter. Thanks to them as well.

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