With the weather hotting up and the evenings growing ever longer, the open road calls to many a fan of two wheels. A huge number of cycling races take place across Europe during the summer and early autumn months, so if you’re gearing up for the finale of the Tour de France you should definitely check out these other events in the calendar. Whether you’re a keen cyclist looking for a place to race, or a fan who simply wants to witness these world class athletes in training, these lesser-known cycling events provide stunning views, exciting terrain and a buzzing atmosphere for spectators.
America might have founded the first events back in the 1960s, but fast forward to the present day and Europe has a firm grip on the festival baton. The UK alone hosts approximately 500 festivals each year, and the incredible roster of European events continues to evolve every summer. Attending a classic festival or boutique weekender has long been a rite of passage, wherever you hail from on the continent. From hip hop legends in Holland to cutting edge electro in Belgium, there’s a festival for everyone. Here’s the best of what’s coming up in 2017.
That coveted yellow jersey is close enough to touch.
The Tour de France is the greatest bike race on earth, and the 104th edition is already proving one of the most thrilling in recent memory. Christian Prudhomme, the director of the race, has stated that the 2017 route has been specifically designed to encourage riders to attack each other from early on, right through to the Champs Elysees finale on 23 July.
Though it has just three summit finishes and fewer categorised climbs than previous years, the Tour will visit every one of France’s five mountain regions: the Alps, the Pyrénées, the Massif Central, the Jura and the Vosges. With up to nine potential sprint stages, spectators can expect aggressive racing from the get go. In honour of this sporting spectacular, we’ve put together the ultimate guide of the Tour de France 2017. Allez! Allez!
Bastille Day, known in France as “la Fête Nationale”, takes place on 14 July every year. It’s far from a mere bank holiday then – this date is considered the ultimate celebration of French culture and heritage. This special day marks the Storming of the Bastille, a political event that shaped the France we know today. Throughout the country, you’ll hear impassioned cries of “Vive la France! Vive la République!” as people gather in the streets for huge parties. But how did Bastille Day come to be?
Toward the end of the 18th Century, the French monarchy was in crisis. The country was on the brink of bankruptcy due to costly involvement in the American Revolution, yet King Louis XVI and his coiffed queen Marie Antoinette continued to spend lavishly while ordinary people starved. On 14 July 1789, Parisian rebels stormed the Bastille, a royal prison that had come to signify the cruelty of the sovereignty. This event marked the beginning of the French Revolution, a decade of political turmoil in which the king was overthrown by the new radical state and sent to the guillotine. Eventually of course, the absolute monarchy was replaced by a constitutional government.
Here we give you some brilliant historical ways to mark the most important day in France’s calendar.
From its first inception in the 1830s, P&O spent many decades building a business out of mail services and trade routes. By 1904, the shipping giant made its first step into the world of pleasure cruising. They transformed old mail boats into luxurious vessels for the wealthy upper classes to travel to far and exotic locations.
Like much of the country, P&O recovered slowly from the effects of the First World War. However the company continued to work positively, acquiring smaller shipping lines and opening new booking offices in London’s West End. By the mid-1920s, P&O had become the largest shipping company in the world. During this decade of innovation, P&O turned turbo-electric, give much more economical results.
Just as they’d found their feet, P&O was preparing for war again. Ships and staff were moved out of London to Glasgow and Liverpool, and photographers started creating copes of all of the company’s the vital records, contracts and files. Within a month of the declaration of war, the entire passenger fleet had been requisitioned by the War Office.