Our pretty village town of Glossop (the home of our UK office) seems to be coming down with yellow fever, and language as we know it is being replaced by cries of “Allez, Allez”. And it’s only set to spread. Though it’s far from a nasty affliction, it’s the gearing up for the 2014 Tour de France.
The world’s most famous cycling race is starting its 101th Tour from the unexpected English Yorkshire Dales on Saturday 5th July. The next day they will zoom through our midst on the second part of the race when the riders cycle from York to Sheffield covering 201 km of lush green countryside. By the time the race ends in Paris three weeks later, the total distance covered will be 3,664 kilometres.
Charlie, one of our UK directors, became a cycling enthusiast a few years ago and will be one of hundreds who will be amidst the buzz. “It’s no Alpe d’Huez, but “Côte de Holme Moss” in the Peak District (a few miles from my hometown) will be a tricky proposition for the world’s elite cyclists. It also promises to be a magnificent spectacle for approximately 50,000 English tourists expected in the area. I shall be just one of them, cheering on Britain’s best, Chris Froome and Mark Cavendish, as they race past at speeds I can only dream of achieving on my bike. I will be especially looking out for Cav – the Manx Missile – as I am a big fan of his sprint finishes and I will be hoping he can pick up a few more stage wins this year!”
For the rest of us we’ll be watching in the local park, Manor Park, where huge screens are to be erected along with the usual carnival bouncy castles, stalls and slides.
Over in Nice, proud new owners Tracey and Greg Waldron, have just put the finishing touches to their apartment. They bought, through Nice Pebbles Sales in January 2014, a three bedroom apartment on rue Berlioz. It was simply gorgeous when they bought it and now they have employed the eye of interior designer, Kate Simmons, it is now divine.
Sadly for us and our guests, they have bought for their own personal use to get away from the stresses of their busy lives as a lawyer and doctor, so we can’t offer it for our rental guests, though we live in hope.
As a very keen cyclist Greg has commissioned a special wall to celebrate the Tour de France. Cycling has been a big part of his life since he was 14 years old, and it turns out he did his very first cycle road race in Glossop! He is very happy to see the Tour de France choosing this as part of the race this year.
When speaking with his interior designers Kate and Phil, cycling inevitably came up, and it was decided that a spare wall could be dedicated to the Mont Ventoux, where not only has Greg and his son cycled up on a few occasions, but that has become legendary as one of the gruelling climbs in the race and a magnet for cyclists around the world. That Mont Ventoux is close by to his second home as well as the personal connection he feels to the mountain meant it was the perfect choice for a mural wall. He loves the image, and knows he will have great personal attachment to it. He remembers enjoying the Tour de France just when he was thinking about coming to buy in Nice.
Mont Ventoux, a gruelling 6,273ft peak, was brought back into the spotlight in 2013 when Britain’s Chris Froome took a famous stage victory there on his way to winning last year’s Tour de France 2013. Historically, it’s been most famous for remembering the British cyclist Tom Simpson the British rider who died of heart failure during the ascent in 1967. There is a memorial to Tom Simpson on the ascent of the mountain, and speculation about the cause of his death continues today, with most agreeing it was from heat exhaustion caused by a mixture of dehydration, alcohol and amphetamines. Regardless, he was a force to be reckoned with; even after collapsing he asked spectators to put him back on the bike, which he rode to within a half mile of the summit before collapsing dead, still clipped into his pedals.
Greg and Tracey live in Shrewsbury and their youngest child is now 18 years old. They love their French base as they can pop over the Channel many a weekend to enjoy not just cycling in a sunny climate but playing tennis and the food and wine France is famous for. Greg feels his love of the Tour de France and cycling played a big part in deciding on Nice for a base for a second home. He also felt that having friends with a place here (Greg and Tracey are university friends of our Poppy owners Jim and Rachel) and coming to stay as our guest in rental apartments on our portfolio also made the purchase very comfortable for them.
Pebbles loves that it has been able to play a small part in helping the Waldron family find a place that is perfect for them. Greg gives special thanks to Ioana who he says was “an absolute star” and Lenka for her expertise in the setting up of all things technical for them. Now, Allez, Allez, we’ve got a race to watch. Who needs the World Cup anyway? Or Wimbledon.