The 2014 Tour De France Depart through Yorkshire were reet grand.
The rest of Le Tour are going to have top up their game to beat what Yorkshire put on for the opening two stages of this year’s race.
The route, the scenery, the crowds and the racing over the last few metres have mapped this Grand Depart as the best there’s been and it were all done in God’s county. Nowhere else would have crowds as deep as they were when the riders rode out of Leeds, or indeed as they climbed only a cat four climb at the Cote de Blubberhouses.
On that first stage one thing was guaranteed. The exact opposite of what many thought and many were there to see. It doesn’t go well for Mark Cavendish of late when he’s expected to win.
When he was the last member of the 2008 Olympic team who didn’t have medal he didn’t get one, when he was supposed to win gold on the road in London at the ’12 Olympics, it didn’t come off, when he was supposed to end the first stage of last year’s century Tour celebrations wearing yellow it went much the same way as the run in to Harrogate.
It was just too much. Heading into the place of his mother’s birth, to wear yellow in England, it had grand disappointment written all over it. His train was in place, he’s got Renshaw back but had they gone to the front too early as Petacchi wasn’t there after being left behind earlier on. Then with Cancellara’s break everything was up in the air, Cav tried too hard as was likely and he took Gerrans out.
It looked like a broken collar bone when he was laid out on the floor, it ended up being a dislocation and ligament damage. You wonder if that’s worse. Do bones heal better than having the ligament coming free? You also have to wonder if Cav had stayed upright would he have even beaten Kittel who looks to be number one at the moment.
One highlight of the second stage, which Cav couldn’t take part in, was the way ITV cut to and advert break just as the riders were heading into Keighley, they came back from the ads only to show the competition thus returning to the race as the riders were just leaving Keighley on the way to Haworth.
I wonder how much the Yorkshire Tourist Board paid for ITV to cut out this piece of urban blight. I know the locals weren’t chuffed, ITV commentators had been talking about Keighley this, Keighley that for some miles before hand, place was packed, my uncle struggled to get into a shop down the road from his house and then struggled to get out after.
What ever those soft southern shites put out today on the third stage between Canterbury and London, it won’t match proper stuff that ‘appens up north, on Ilkla Moor Baht ‘at.
The title of this post comes from a classic Public Information film from the 1970s with Graham Stark helping a lorry driver back out but couldn’t find the video of it anywhere.