15th May 2018
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Thursday 3rd May marked the start of the fourth edition of the Tour de Yorkshire (TdY) that has become a great legacy to the epic Yorkshire Grand Depart, which was the opening two stages of the Tour de France in 2014.
I was personally very excited about the TdY for several reasons:
This year’s edition of the TdY is even bigger and better with the men’s race extended from 3 to 4 days and the women’s from 1 to 2. Today’s first stage was a flat stage from Beverley to Doncaster. On paper it was set up for a bunch sprint and this is how it played out for the women with Dutch rider Kirsten Wild winning a tight race to the line.
The men’s race was lined up beautifully for Mark Cavendish to take the sprint on his return to cycling following a nasty crash in Milan San Remo back in March. However, the race didn’t quite go to plan for the peloton with a group of six mostly inexperienced British riders forming a strong breakaway group early in the race. They managed to pull off the almost impossible task of holding off a charging, talented peloton on a flat stage. It was the 23 year old Yorkshire born Harry Tanfield who came through to pick up the win and the first blue jersey of the race.
The rest of the race takes the cyclists through Barnsley-Ilkley (Cow & Calf summit finish), Richmond-Scarborough and Halifax-Leeds via some tough hills in the Yorkshire Dales.
Being a Tour Maker
A few months ago Sky Betting & Gaming (SB&G) signed a 3 year sponsorship deal to support the TdY and more specifically the volunteer group affectionately known as the Tour Makers. This year there are 1,800 Tour Makers (with around 40 from SB&G). They do important jobs like flag and whistle to the cyclists (to avoid road obstacles), allow people to cross roads safely and ‘fan engagement’.
I signed up to this excited to get involved but not really knowing what I was letting myself in for. I went along to the police led training session which was a really fun and interesting afternoon.
I signed up to do the Doncaster finish and the Barnsley start and was chuffed that work supported me in doing them. I have now done my day in Doncaster and to be honest there was probably too many of us (about 50 Tour Makers) along a 300m stretch of road. But it was a great day, sun was out, loads of people out supporting making lots of noise for the cyclists.
I was able to help a few people with directions but was mostly just enjoying the race and festivities with everyone else! This was my view for the day:
Tomorrow I’m in Barnsley Tour Making for the women’s start bright and early then I have some special jobs for the start of the men’s race. Possibly holding the starting ribbon or something… and I’m being followed around by a film crew for the day so that should be fun!
Sportive on Sunday
I’m most excited about actually riding the amateur sportive on Sunday. There are around 70 of us doing it from SB&G and I’m riding with a good friend that I hadn’t actually seen for 5 years. I’ve trained pretty hard so I’m just hoping my legs hold up on the day because it is a long, gruelling day on the saddle with some very tough climbs.
Please Support & Donate
I have been overwhelmed with support from friends, family and colleagues and have now raised over £2,000 (much of this from a charity concert back in September). This is going towards 3 amazing children’s charities – Candlelighters, Danceaid and Give a Duck.
If you haven’t donated already please dig deep: