It’s one of the more improbable news items, but no less exciting for all that. The Tour is coming! I am already making plans to spend the weekend in Yorkshire. Luckily, my mother lives in Bradford so we have a base from which to catch both days.
I’ve never seen the Tour in mainland Europe, but I did go and watch when the Grand Depart visited London in 2007. Here’s a nice home spun clip trawled from youtube of Cancellara absolutely gunning it in the World Champion’s Jersey:
Visits from the Tour have been progressively more exciting. In 1974 the greatest show on earth rolled up and down a newly constructed bypass near Plympton. Riders were distinctly non-plussed.
It didn’t grace these shores again until 1994, when things were a little bit better. They took in the ‘Col De Ditchling Beacon’ en route to a stage finish in Brighton. The two days were successful, at least partly because of the ‘Boardman effect’.
The visit in 2014 promises to be a high watermark for British Cycling. Cavendish and Wiggins have become global cycling legends of the highest order and Team Sky is the dominant outfit in the professional ranks. Yorkshire is a hotbed of cycling and I’m sure the Huddersfield Star Wheelers, East Bradford, Oldham Century, Airedale Olympic and Otley Cycling Clubs are breathless with excitement at the prospect of seeing the stars at close quarters on their local roads.
It might change the strava top tens a little bit though.