Monday, August 08, 2005

Tour de Hongrie

This seems to be a weekly occurance on these pages. Each weekend I step outside for a simple stroll somewhere and I end up watching some huge event, be it a gay pride parade or chanting Hare Krsnas. This Sunday my walk about Budapest turned in to the tour of Hungary.

Read moreNo, I didn't slip into my trainers and set off on a cross-country adventure a la Forrest Gump*, though the thought often flits through my mind. Instead, on my more modest circuit on the riverfront I came across the final stage of the Tour of Hungary (aka Tour de Hongrie).

The road was closed, a helicopter buzzed overhead and as stewards whistled the spectators and amblers out of the way, the massive pack of cyclists whooshed past (there's substitue for "whoosh" in this situation I'm afraid). I was surprised at how close I was to the action. I would have put it down to just entering the race area from the wrong direction but it looks like quite a few people did the same and none of the organizers / stewards seeemed to be that bothered by people standing on the pavement as the riders cycled past just a few centimeters away.

This part of the race was a big loop through the empty streets and they made their way past the crowds several times before a final sprint to the finish line. Not being a sportsman, I didn't even have the stamina to hang around to see the end of it all. It looked like they could carry on till the next day. Checking the news later, it was good to see the trophy go to a Hungarian, Tamás Lengyel (or Lengyel Tamás if you like).

Some Pics

The leaders out in front. Battling it out mano a mano. All caught live on TV thanks to the guy with the camera hanging off the back of the motorbike.

The rest of the pack follow along like a bunch of squabbling kids.

Followed again by the backup crew. Or maybe this is an incentive for the stragglers to keep pace for fear of being run over?

Some Links
Tour de Hongrie main site
Tour de Hongrie in English
English page, includes past winners going back to 1925

* Forrest Gump Quote:
That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. So I ran to the end of the road. And when I got there, I thought maybe I'd run to the end of town. And when I got there, I thought maybe I'd just run across Greenbow County. And I figured, since I run this far, maybe I'd just run across the great state of Alabama. And that's what I did. I ran clear across Alabama. For no particular reason I just kept on going. I ran clear to the ocean. And when I got there, I figured, since I'd gone this far, I might as well turn around, just keep on going. When I got to another ocean, I figured, since I'd gone this far, I might as well just turn back, keep right on going.


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