Very often when you look back upon events of the past, they seem to have happened only very recently when in fact they took place many years ago. I have the opposite sensation about the 6th July 2014 as the events of that particularly momentous day appear (in my mind at least) to have taken place many, many years ago. In reality it has been only three. Much has happened since then, both with the development of cycling in my home county of Yorkshire and in my personal and professional life. Today is, of course, the 6th July 2017 and the Tour de France is back home looking forward to a fairly flat day of cycling across eastern France. On 6th July 2014 it was stage two of the race and the cyclists were climbing the modest yet steep and frequent climbs of West Yorkshire and the southern Pennines. One such climb – the Côte De Greetland – was a familiar one as it had been climbed by me, many, many times en route home to the house where I was brought up and where my mother continues to live. In fact, here I am doing just that back in 2009 as I cycled along the Pennine Cycleway (now this does seem like yesterday!):
Move forward 5 years and the scene was somewhat busier; the yellow skip had gone but this had arrived:
At at about 2pm, these guys turned up:
It was a memorable day. Indeed it was a memorable weekend what with the the Grand Départ in Leeds on the previous day and general festivity in the whole of the county. Fond memories indeed.
The Tour de France has been followed by three editions of the Tour de Yorkshire with hopefully many more to come. 2017 brought the race (almost) to the Calder Valley as the riders climbed the ‘Mur de Shibden‘:
Last year, Christian Prudhomme, the man in charge of the Tour de France was quoted as saying that ‘it’s a question of when, not if, the Tour de France will return to Yorkshire‘. My own betting would be perhaps in the early 2020s. Why? Well, so far has Yorkshire risen in the ranks of great places to cycle (well, those of us from Yorkshire knew that all along but now the secret is out) that the UCI World Championships are heading this way in 2019. It’s a truly unbelievable rise and long may it continue.
Rarely can I have mentioned so many years in one post; 2009, 2014, 2017, 2019, the 2020s… but let’s come back to 2017. Next week, the Tour de France arrives in the beautiful French region of the Dordogne. All I can say at the moment is watch this space…