French connection

THE news that the Tour de France peloton could be racing through Yorkshire is a fantastic boost for the region – and the area’s sporting profile.

This is no ordinary event. This annual endurance test has a worldwide following of two billion TV viewers, numbers that are a dream for the marketing men as they look to entice cycling enthusiasts to Yorkshire.

It is also important that promotional activities do not begin and end with next year’s London Olympics; visitor numbers need to be sustained on a long-term basis.

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Some important questions still need to be considered – including whether elite cyclists should race over roads littered with potholes.

There are also the financial implications associated with staging such a spectacular event. And then there is the issue that dogs the Tour de France every year – drugs. It can only be hoped that these concerns can be overcome by the relentless efforts to identify the sport’s cheats.

Despite these fears, the news should be welcomed – Yorkshire is blessed with some of the country’s elite track and road cyclists and is well placed to stage an event which will showcase this region to a global audience.