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25 June 2013 No comments

Brooks At The Anjou Vélo Vintage.

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Brooks At The Anjou Vélo Vintage.
Participants from as far away as Japan and the U.S. gathered in Anjou at the weekend for the third edition of the Vélo Vintage retro biking festival. The towns of Angers and Saumur split the work between them, with Angers hosting events from Wednesday through to Saturday morning, and Saumur setting up their Vintage Village for the rest of the weekend. To mark the fact that this year sees the hundredth Tour de France take place, the Vélo Vintage organizers also threw a ride that partly covered the stretch of a stage from the inaugural 1903 race. Saturday morning saw riders set off from Angers for "La Rétro 1903", a day long jaunt along and around the Loire. With a nice lunch break, of course. Rod's Baines Whirlwind with a Swallow on top. Waiting for racers to reach the finish in Saumur, casual fans had a few hours to spend browsing the Salon Rétro, a fair of vintage bike parts and other period cycling accessories. Later that evening in Saumur the judging panel of the Concours d'Élégance awarded prizes to the best turned out madameoiselles and monsieurs, and a vintage party saw tipsy revellers dancing Charlestons and Watusis until shortly after the wine ran out. What would a Vintage bike festival be without a few Penny Farthings? Sunday saw over a thousand cyclists choose from one of three different routes for the main events, the Anjou Vélo Vintage "Découverte", "Balade" and "Rando". Riders could base their choice on distance alone (37, 47 or 85km), safe in the knowledge that at some point they'd all get to stop off at the Bouvet-Ladubay wine cellars for a "taste". Throughout the weekend local mechanics and seamstresses were on hand with the tools of their trades to assist participants with any sartorial or bicycular difficulties, and further evidence of an extraordinarily well run event is there for all to see on the Anjou Facebook page.