Bike Route: Make a date for ride on route 68

I visited Sustrans’ brilliant National Cycle Network website to get inspiration for this week’s ride and route 68 – the Pennine Cycleway – immediately jumped out at me. The full route takes you all the way from Derby to Berwick-upon-Tweed but I hopped on just over the Yorkshire border at Dunford Bridge and followed it to Hebden Bridge.

The clouds gather above the Vale of York but no rain falls  to bring relief to struggling crops as this   drilled field  at Grafton near Boroughbridge shows no sign of  life .

Bike Route: Beauty even in the downpours

I received an email from the Yorkshire Lass Cycle Club this week inviting me to try their ladies-only Yorkshire Lass Sportive course before the big day itself on Sunday, August 20. There are three rides on offer (30 miles, 60 miles and a whopping 103-miler) and I opted for the middle one. I have to admit I had a bit of a nightmare start to the day but don’t let that put you off – the route itself was an absolute cracker.

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Setting the standard: Britain's Chris Froome.

Nick Westby: Time to raise the roof for Britain’s proud, unassuming sporting greats

Last month on the slopes of the Pyrenees and the Alps, and on the Champs Elysees in Paris, Chris Froome proved once again that he is the greatest grand tour cyclist of the decade by winning a fourth Tour de France crown in five years.

Winner: Team Sky's Chris Froome celebrates with his trophy after stage 21 of the Tour de France in Paris.

Chris Froome goes for cycling double as Scott Thwaites reflects on Tour debut

Chris Froome still feels “quite young in cycling years” and will keep on pushing for a record number of Tour de France titles until his body finally fails him.

Ben Swift

Rotherham sprinter Ben Swift left with mixed feelings over Tour de France

BEN SWIFT will leave his second Tour de France with mixed feelings after injury and illness hampered his chances of contending for a stage win.

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Chris Froome celebrates with his son Kellan after winning the Tour de France (Picture: Adam Davy/PA Wire).

Triumphant Froome plans to become part of Tour de France elite

Chris Froome set his sights on equalling the record of five Tour de France victories after sealing his fourth yesterday.

River Nidd, Knaresborough

Bike Route: It’s fast and flat, but what a ride

Commuting to the Great Yorkshire Show last week reminded me of the great roads you can find around Harrogate, so I took the train there this week to embark on a scenic circular ride which took me through a whole host of picturesque places that lie to the east of the town.

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Third time lucky as Boasson Hagen earns photo verdict

It was third time lucky for Edvald Boasson Hagen as he won stage 19 of the Tour de France while Chris Froome crossed safely in the pack to retain the yellow jersey with two stages to go.

Chris Froome, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, celebrates on the podium after the 18th stage of the Tour de France. Picture: AP/Peter Dejong.

Tour de France: Clock ticking down for Chris Froome’s main rivals

Chris Froome conceded four seconds to Romain Bardet on the Col d’Izoard but nevertheless took another step towards his fourth Tour de France title as Warren Barguil won stage 18.

Boels Dolmans' Lizzie Deignan during La Course in Briancon. Picture: Ian Parker/PA.

Yorkshire’s Lizzie Deignan clinches second in France

British national champion Lizzie Deignan finished second on the Col d’Izoard as Holland’s Annemiek van Vleuten won La Course by Le Tour on Thursday.

Britain's Chris Froome, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, is followed by Italy's Fabio Aru as they climb Croix de Fer pass.

Froome extends advantage after testing Galibier climb

Chris Froome extended his lead in the yellow jersey as former ski jumper Primoz Roglic sailed over the Tour de France’s highest mountain to win stage 17 into Serre-Chevalier.

Britain's Chris Froome.

Froome refuses to be blown off course as Matthews wins stage

Michael Matthews won stage 16 of the Tour de France to Romans-sur-Isere as Chris Froome fought off fierce crosswinds to protect the yellow jersey.


Bike Route: A view from the canal towpath

I’ve lived in and around the Aire Valley for most of my life but was treated to a completely fresh view of it this week as I took the Aire Valley towpath (national cycling route 696) from Leeds to Bingley and then on to the Airedale Greenway (national cycling route 66) all the way to Skipton. If you or your family have been inspired by the Tour de France to get on your bike, this route will be perfect for you as it’s pan flat, traffic free, and hugs the Leeds Liverpool Canal for its duration.

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France's Warren Barguil, wearing the best climber's dotted jersey, celebrates a she crosses the finish line ahead of third placed Spain's Alberto Contador, rear, to win the thirteenth stage of the Tour de France . (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

Bastille Day joy for Barguil with stage victory

Frenchman Warren Barguil delivered a Bastille Day victory on stage 13 of the Tour de France as Fabio Aru retained the yellow jersey.

Swashbuckling hero: Tommy Simpson was a charismatic pioneer whose tragic death 50 years ago today still resonates in the cycling world.

Tom Simpson - the cyclist who pushed too far

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the death of cyclist Tom Simpson on the slopes of Mont Ventoux, a moment in time that still haunts the sport, as Nick Westby discovers.

Ben Swift (GBR - UAE Team Emirates) (Picture: Luca Bettini/BettiniPhoto)

Tour de France: Cavendish crash knocked me for six, admits Yorkshire’s Ben Swift

Rotherham’s Ben Swift is aiming to be back in the hunt for stage wins at the Tour de France this week after overcoming the injuries he suffered in the crash which ended Mark Cavendish’s race.

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Germany's Marcel Kittel, wearing the best sprinter's green jersey celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the tenth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 178 kilometers (110.6 miles).

Yellow jersey milestone moment is ‘huge honour’ for Froome

Chris Froome collected the 50th yellow jersey of his career after safely negotiating stage 10 of the Tour de France into Bergerac.

Scott Thwaites ahead of the second week of the Tour de France (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)

Tour de France: Scott Thwaites ready to tackle Pyrenees as Chris Froome is forced on defensive

THE moments of the Tour de France that Scott Thwaites has been waiting for are just around the corner.

A spectator holds a flare as stage winner Colombia's Rigoberto Uran and Britain's Chris Froome, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, climb during the ninth stage of the Tour de France (Picture: Christophe Ena/AP).

Tour de France 2017: Froome loses ‘rear-gunner’ Thomas after brutal stage

Rigoberto Uran won a chaotic, incident-strewn stage nine of the Tour de France that saw Geraint Thomas and Richie Porte crash out while Chris Froome came home third and extended his lead in the yellow jersey.

The River Esk in Goathland, on the North Yorks Moors, pictured by Graham Warrender of Town Moor.

Bike Route: Stunning scenery, aching limbs

One of the best things about writing this column is it takes me to places I’ve never been and I was grateful to receive an email a few weeks ago from Elaine Ward at Scarborough Paragon Cycling Club suggesting I try one of her favourite rides.

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