It were grand news when announced a few weeks back that the 2014 Tour de France Grand Départ would start and take in two stages in Yorkshire.
Yesterday it was announced that the first stage would be from Leeds to Harrogate – taking in Harewood, Otley, Ilkley, Skipton, Kettlewell, Aysgarth, Hawes, Reeth, Leyburn & Ripon – the second from York to Sheffield – going through Knaresborough, Silsden, Keighley, Haworth, Hebden Bridge, Elland, Huddersfield & Holmfirth.
First thought, as Tweeted yesterday, was about a certain town in West Yorkshire on the second stage…
Tour de France going through Keighley. That'll speed the buggers up. Wanna get out of there as fast as bleeding possible.
— Toxic Web (@Toxic_Web) January 17, 2013
It always brings to mind a passage written by Bill Bryson in his book “Notes from a Small Island” about lost village of Tyneham in south Dorset…
I know the Army needs some place for gunnery practice, but surely they could find some new and less visually sensitive location to blow up – Keighley, say. Bill Bryson
Secondly, I was rather disappointed that on both stages the route just skirts round my cousin’s house. Her front garden would have been an ideal location to watch the peloton ride by from. In between watching them in comfort on the TV.
Third thought was Haworth. Now I know it’s on the route for the second stage but I wondered which part of the old place they’ll be riding through. Could they be riding up or down Main Street?
And good news that the second stage will also include Holmfirth so that the three riders (above) already announced as part of Team Sky for the Tour won’t feel out of place…