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Published On: Tue, Aug 12th, 2014

101st Tour de France – A successful Tour?

Despite last year being the 100th Tour de France the 101st seemed to have much more of a party atmosphere. For the first time Britain had four stages, the other three times the Tour had dipped its toe in Britain we had been treated to no more than two stages.

Lars Boom Tour de France video screenshot

Lars Boom screenshot/YouTube

So now with the power of reflection was the Tour de France a success?

Well that depends on how you look at it? If you look at the British hopes competing in the Tour then you can definitely call it a failure. Mark Cavendish, one of the favorites for the green jersey, fell and injured himself in Harrogate on the first day, while defending champion and fellow Brit Chris Froome crashed out on the fifth day, making the bookmakers a fortune.

Away from the actual racing, it was an overwhelming success in Britain and something that the riders really enjoyed being part of. If you lived in the north you didn’t have go too far before you would see a yellow bike plonked onto someone’s roof. Concerns before the race were soon alleviated with 2.5million turning up for the first two stages in Yorkshire. The sight of over 100 bikes charging up the tiny cobbled streets of Haworth whilst getting cheered on by a seven deep crowd really is astonishing.

This exposure can only be a good thing. With more and more people running to fat, it is refreshing that many people still care about sport and hopefully the Tour de France would have inspired some people to take up cycling. In the Yorkshire region alone it generated over £35m whilst the only real expenditure for hosting the Tour was an improvement in infrastructure. So in that sense the Tour has a lasting legacy – better roads. The carnival atmosphere it brought with it was absorbing while the weather that crossed La Manche with the cyclists was most enjoyable.

In a similar vein to the Olympics, we Brits took a pessimistic view to the whole thing but once it began we were wonderfully surprised.

Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome and the Tour itself has certainly put road cycling back onto the British menu.

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