It has felt absurd every time I've said it, The Tour de France is coming through my village.

July 3rd, 2014, 8pm

My village is in Yorkshire, England.


It seemed unbelievable when back in 2012 they announced the Grand Depart would be from Leeds.

Unbelievable when Leeds Town Hall was draped in yellow to celebrate the announcement of the route.

Unbelievable as cultural and transport and all the other groupings had meetings about how they would respond when the tour came to Yorkshire (and through my village!)

Unbelievable even as houses, hedges, verges sprouted bunting and yellow bikes.

Unbelievable as the road closure signs went up.

Unbelievable still, as the fields fill with impromptu camp sites, food concessions, car park, banks of toilets, piles of crush barriers.

Unbelievable as the always cycle-busy lanes round get even busier with riders. There have been so many in the last few days I have set my now then cycling nod to Constant/Automatic.

Unbelievable even though I saw every one of the the riders in the Peloton introduced at Leeds Arena last night.

Unbelievable even though I was passed out on my ride today by the Europcar and Trek Factory Racing teams, which might be why I shaved five minutes off my 20 mile loop - don’t get carried away though, think big lad, hybrid, one toe clip missing, dumpbin logoless lycra.

Last night’s event was refreshingly free of celebrities, some artists and singers, some films of real people saying Welcome to Yorkshire, Bienvenue a Yorkshire.

And the riders.

But the biggest ovation was not for Chris Froome, Mark Cavendish or even Banquo Wiggins, it was for the Director of Welcome to Yorkshire Gary Verity who, despite all the naysayers, cynics and the lack of support from the higher ups (that went to Edinburgh’s bid) brought Le Grand Depart and two race stages to Yorkshire. As the applause and cheering went on and on, we saw what it meant to him, and felt what it meant to each of us and the region. If there had been an election for President of the Republic of Yorkshire last night, he would have freewheeled it.

Tomorrow the Tour de France comes through my village, I am unbelievably excited.

Adrian, Christine and Michael said thanks.

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Steve Dearden

Writer, producer and Director of The Writing Squad -

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