The Tour de France finished in Paris this evening. Congratulations to the winner, Vincenzo Nibali.
It may not have escaped your notice that this year’s Tour started off here in Yorkshire.
Here’s my take on our Yorkshire Grand Départ, from my vantage point in York:
It was back in 2010 that I first became gripped by the Tour de France, which that year turned into an epic battle between two riders, Andy Schleck and Alberto Contador – as you can hear in the following clip from my Rhymes of the Times 2010 show:
(For those of you who are interested, my complete Rhymes of the Times 2010 are available to read on Kindle.)
Never did it flit across the furthest recesses of my brain when I wrote that poem that just four years later, the very same Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck would be hurtling down the streets of my home town of York. Down the very streets that I used to cycle down every day on my way to school and back! But of course that’s exactly what happened here three Sundays ago.
Thank you to Gary Verity (and his team) at Welcome to Yorkshire for bringing the Grand Départ to Yorkshire. And to all the people who got Tour fever and bedecked our region accordingly. We had farmers dying their sheep yellow, green or polka dot red. We had a butcher who created a bicycle out of pork pies. (This was quickly re-christened a ‘pie-cycle’!) And my home city, York, was festooned with yellow bikes and bunting, as you can see in my video above.