Tour de Yorkshire underway and ‘inspiring cyclists of all ages’

The Tour de Yorkshire started today and according to a bike expert, ‘legitimises cycling’ for those unaware of its popularity.

Stage One of the race, a 182km stretch between Beverley and Doncaster, started today.

Chris Maloney, Keeper of the Peak and committee member of Peak District MTB, said: “It’s a fantastic event, a real celebration of cycling in the county.

“We all saw how many crowds there were when we had the Tour de France and it’s fantastic to see the enthusiasm for cycling around some of the very beautiful roads and countryside of Yorkshire has carried on.“

The race has taken place since May 2015 and the idea for the event was put forward after the success of the 2014 Tour de France stage which went through the county.

Mr Maloney said the Yorkshire tour has brought people together and has given people a chance to see how brilliant the cycling community is.

He said: “I think the Tour de Yorkshire, it’s for kids all the way up to pensioners, and it’s a sport that’s accessible to everybody.”

The 2018 Yorkshire race line-up includes a number of star names including Mark Cavendish and Rio 2016 track gold medallist Owain Doull.

Mr Maloney added he took his kids, one as a baby, to the Tour de France in 2014 and it brought the entire family together.

He said: “I really don’t think there’s an age limit on this. If you’re fit and healthy you can get your leg over a bike and get involved, try riding a bike and you might rediscover something you forgot many years ago and that’s one of the most joyous things anyone can do.”

The Tour de Yorkshire is a four-day event across the county and will finish in Leeds on Sunday.

The tour covers 711 kilometres and includes 7,800 metres of climbing.

 

Sonia Twigg

MA Journalism, Sheffield University @sonia_255