YP Letters: A grand tour of two rival cycling traditions

The start of the Tour de France in 2014 when Mark Cavendish and Chris Froome led cyclists through Leeds.
The start of the Tour de France in 2014 when Mark Cavendish and Chris Froome led cyclists through Leeds.
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From: Peter Phelan, Stonecroft, Bradford.

REGARDING letters published on whether it should be the Tour de Yorkshire – or the Tour of Yorkshire.

This is not a matter of major importance of course, but maybe the following will add some context.

Cycle racing has been taking place both here, and on the continent, for about the same length of time.

The big difference was that here we raced against the clock, time-trialling, whereas cyclists raced each other in massed starts on the continent.

We were thus never a part of the continental racing scene.

Pretty much from the start the Tour de France was the race where, in essence, it was formatted to virtually test the riders to destruction.

Massed-start racing only started here after the Second World War with the formation of the BLRC (British League of Racing Cyclists: my licence expired in 1955!) but we were never integrated into or part of the big continental scene.

Yorkshire was never on the ‘cycle race map’ – and then came the 2014 Grand Départ of the Tour de France.

The connection has been 
kept with the title Tour de Yorkshire – Tour of Yorkshire doesn’t cut it!

I hope these comments help.