Rob Partridge takes a sideways glance at all things cycling in his column for BIKE Channel Canyon.
Stage three of Partridge, From The Pear Tree, sees him warm up for the Tour de Yorkshire by looking at the place, the people and the race…
Friday sees one of the UK’s biggest races begin – the Tour de Yorkshire. Now in its third edition, it’s a legacy of the 2014 Grand Départ of le Tour and has become a huge event in it’s own right.
I was there three years ago, stood on the roadside watching the Tour de France kick off. I camped out in a field the night before in a small town called Hawes in North Yorkshire.
The crowds were incredible on ‘Cote du Buttertubs’, leaving just a single file passage for the riders to get through. Once the race had gone it took an hour or two for people to leave the hillside.
A year later I took to the startline in the first TdY and, once again, the crowds did not disappoint.
The people of Yorkshire are a friendly bunch and are also a very proud county, it’s almost a little country of its own.
Very similar to the Welsh in that respect. They are very proud of where they live, which is why I felt so at home during my four years of living there.
There is also this thing called ‘Yorkshire grit’. If you have gloves on above zero degrees you are deemed soft. And it is this mentality that has produced some of cycling’s hardmen.
Riders like Keith ‘Legs’ Lambert, Dudley Hayton and ‘Super’ Sid Barras; all of whom I’ve been fortunate enough to work with and all successful riders of their time.
They were known for being tough bike riders and being able to big ring Fleet Moss. That last bit might not be true but probably is!
The people of Yor