Tour de France: In London, everyone's along for the ride as Bradley Wiggins win Tour
Monday 23 July 2012
As the end of the Tour de France played out on television screens at the new shop-cum-café run by the chic British cycling brand Rapha yesterday, a cheer began to ring out from the 100-strong crowd.
Lone cycling fans, fathers and sons in matching tops and groups of friends in brightly coloured Lycra had all gathered to watch Bradley Wiggins become the first Briton to win the race.
As Wiggins moved aside in the final moments and his Sky teammate Mark Cavendish gained speed, the noise rose.
"Come on, come on, come on," the group chanted in unison.
As Cavendish crossed the line triumphant and Wiggins extended his overall lead, the fans let out a loud "Woo-hoo!"
Watching from the doorway of the store, Megan Kimbell, 39, who is cycling from Paris to Milan to raise money for Unicef later this year, said there had been a "sea change" in people's attitudes to cycling now the sport is getting "a bit of attention".
Many people said they thought Wiggins's victory combined with the Olympics would encourage more people to take up cycling.
Australian-born banker Clarence Kolandya, 34, said after his compatriot Cadel Evans won the Tour last year he saw more cyclists in his homeland. Wiggins "will do the same thing here," he said, though he may have been optimistic in adding: "People will get fit and get out of the pub."
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