Perfect weather, a good turnout make event another Tour de Force
THE third Alliance Francaise Tour de Force, based on the Tour de France, on Sunday was a great success. The week before the event, havoc caused by storms caused the organisers great concern, but fortunately Sunday was a glorious day which enabled the Tour de Force to proceed and meet all expectations from cyclists and runners.
The event commenced with a race briefing and a welcome by the director of Alliance Francaise d’ East London, Madame Aline Driessel. As a token of sympathy and respect for all the atrocities experienced throughout the world and the hardships currently experienced in South Africa, a minute’s silence was held followed by the French national anthem.
The best of local French-inspired cuisine and crafts was showcased at the French Market, while Renault Automall embraced France with a display of some of their motor vehicles in traditional French colours – blue, white and red.
Peugot another French motor vehicle manufacturer, flew the French flag high by welcoming everyone to the event. Ultra Liquor and 3 Silos Cafè added to the French atmosphere with French champagne and canapès. While parents and older siblings were competing in the cycle races and fun run, little children enjoyed themselves having pony rides, faces painted and playing with animals in the touch farm.
The highlight of the Tour de Force lucky draw prizes was a genuine King of the Mountain red polka dot shirt brought in directly from France especially for the event. In the tradition of the Tour de France, the yellow jersey is awarded to the leader, the winners of the 20km men’s and ladies races each are presented with a yellow jersey.
Winners of 2016 Tour de Force defended their possession of the yellow jersey on an unknown track. The 2017 possession of the yellow jersey was relinquished to:
Men: 1st Zachary Swart
2nd Paul Steyn
3rd Ryno Owen
Women: 1st Shannon Kirkhoff
2nd Lara-Anne van der Venter
3rd Michelle Powell
The 10km cycle race proved to be most challenging with up and coming cyclists holding their own against more experienced cyclists. Final results were very exciting and shows East London has a number of rising stars.
Men: 1st Bradley McLaren
2nd Lorens Spies
3rd Alex Fanicchi
Ladies: 1st Maddison Mann
2nd Tina du Plessis
3rd Erin Batting
Children competed in the 2km race with much assistance from parents. A dad found to his dismay, that his son on a bicycle is faster than he is on his feet, and tore a ligament in an effort to keep up!
The 5km fun run was enjoyed by all who participated. Competitors vied for the “Best Dressed Frenchie” prizes. Lynda and her children, Caylin and Bradley proved they know how to add a new concept to “best-dressed” section.
Mr and Mrs Boeke embraced the “joie de vivre” of France with their innovative outfits.
Alliance Francaise d’ East London and 3 Silos succeeded in embracing Tour de France and the culture and ambience of France.