Why Chris Froome should ride the Tour de Yorkshire.
I write this blog from Yorkshire, so of course I would be an advocate for Britain’s most successful male pro cyclist to make our home tour an integral part of his season. I was in Switzerland last week watching Froomie at the Tour de Romandie, he has used this race as part of his pre-TdF preparation for a number of years now. I can tell you that the fondue was great, the red wine was fabulous and when you’re daft enough to fall off and fracture ribs, the whiskey (from Glasgow) has a marvellous analgesic effect. For a podgy amateur, Switzerland is a fabulous place to test yourself.
Chris Froome recently revealed in an interview with Cyclingnews.com that he very nearly ditched the land of Raclette and eye-watering restaurant bills to come and play with the hard men at the Tour de Yorkshire. It is this bloggers belief that he would fit in perfectly with the aggressive racing that our roads are forced to provide. No one can ever suggest that Froomie is not an aggressive racer, he knows how to suffer more than most.
What I witnessed at the Tour de Romandie was fairly stale racing for the first three days. Predictable roads, creating predictable racing. A breakaway going up the road, the peloton letting them dangle off the front, reeling them in and racing for the last 10k. A few hard sustained efforts on 7-9% climbs. Everyone thinking about their form for the Giro or Tour. The kind of stuff that would probably be better played out in Watopia.
Yorkshire provides racing. Our draggy roads, the fact that it is NEVER flat, even on flat stages, means that tantalising attacking opportunities exist at every turn and every 20% ramp. Last year I likened Yorkshire to the Ardenne. I’ve had a year to ruminate, now I would say that The Ardenne Classics should be a viewed as a warm up for the TdY. Valverde would have coped with stage 1 and 2 of the TdY 2017. But stage 3 was for the hard men.
If you’re a rider who finds it very difficult to sit at the back and take adulation from your fans (see exhibit 1.) and need to hone your attacking edge (I’m talking to you now Chris!), Yorkshire is a must. Yorkshire will also adore you. We’re not like those southerners, riding round and round Richmond Park all day. Those BBC bandwagon jumpers will tell you that the only cyclists that count are those with Olympic rings around their neck. In Yorkshire we respect grit, determination and mental fortitude. Chris Froome, you are one of us.
So, this is the plan:
1. We need to get Chris Froome to read this blog. This is an imperative.
2. British Cycling, you need to spot momentum when you see it. Grant the Tour de Yorkshire a few more days.
3. Gary Verity, if we are serious about Froomie coming home, we all know he’s a tester, he needs a Time Trial. Pro tour teams on the V718 anyone?
4. Yorkshire, stay awesome.
Thanks for reading
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