Tour de France fan who spent 20 years following the event creates his own version in the back garden


A fan of the Tour de France disappointed that this year’s race was canceled due to the pandemic staged his own ‘mini’ recreation of the event – in his BACK GARDEN.Peter Martin, 52, has been to France every summer for the past 21 years and spends days traveling the country with his family, following cyclists through a number of their one-day ‘stages’.

A father of three, Peter has traveled to “eight or nine” different countries in his avid quest to watch the famous French cycling race.

And this summer would have been a milestone for Peter, as he would have visited his 100th “stop” of the race – in other words, his 100th day of cycling.

Peter, from Marsham, Norfolk, said: “I was devastated when the race was postponed due to coronavirus. My whole year is generally planned around the Tour de France. ”

But Peter was determined not to let his favorite sporting event of the year slip by – and used his two decades of memories to host his own Tour de France.

Peter didn’t walk away empty-handed from his many years of racing in the Tour de France – and has a massive collection of 190 bike figures, ridden by tiny cyclists.

On top of that, he also collected between 80 and 100 miniature vehicles and helicopters – replicas of those who organize the actual event.

And with the race course uploaded since October, Peter was able to stage a perfect daily recreation of what riders would have done between June 27 and July 19.

Peter said: “I watched the Tour de France route online, as it is usually posted in October for the following summer’s event, to give the riders the chance to train.

“And then from there I was able to recreate the kind of terrain they should have tackled that day – but in my backyard.”

He added: “There were a lot of things involved.

“I made wooden structures and balanced them on my garden wall to represent the mountains, for when they were in the Alps.

“Sometimes it took all day to get the right photos because it depended a lot on the weather – if it was too windy my landscape would just blow. ”

Peter even created a “bridge” over his paddling pool using a plank of wood, and precariously balanced his numbers on it – to represent cyclists racing along the Atlantic coast.

And his love for the annual cycle race has grown into a family affair – his wife Lisa, 40, and one of his daughters are involved in helping him create the “backdrop” for his “Garden Tour”.

Peter’s eight-year-old son is even called Henri Desgrange Martin – named after the founder of the Tour de France.

Peter said: “Fortunately my family loves him all. We make it a great vacation every summer, traveling a few thousand kilometers around France after the race.

“We’ve been taking the children with us since our youngest, our son, was only five months old.

“We particularly like the mountain stages, when they cross the Alps by bike. The scenery there is simply fantastic. ”

Some of Peter’s highlights after the Tour de France include meeting British cyclist Mark Cavendish and Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador.

And he hopes he can attend the rescheduled race next month, saying, “If everything is safe and we’re allowed in, we’d love to go.” “


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