CRAVEN cycling professional Pete Williams believes the huge success of the Tour de France provide a massive boost for cycling.
The Rhylstone-based rider joined the spectators at Bolton Abbey on Sunday to watch the action on the second stage and was thrilled with what he saw.
“The crowds have been fantastic in Yorkshire,” he said. “It has also been nice to see lots of people of all ages riding their bikes on the closed roads. I am sure we are going to see lots more people cycling now.”
The 27-year-old can also understand the pain that top British sprinter Mark Cavendish is feeling after his crash at in the race to the finish at Harrogate on Saturday’s first stage saw him dislocate his shoulder and damage ligaments.
Williams has been battling to shrug off the shoulder and neck injuries he sustained in April during the Tour of the Reservoir in Northumberland.
Williams said: “I was doing around 40mph on a descent when I hit a bump in the road and lost control of the bike and fell.”
The Haribo Beacon Cycling team member was due to ride in the National Criterium Championship at Hull last night, and is set to compete in a number of town centre races including the Colne Grand Prix.
Williams, who won the sprint category in the 2012 Tour of Britain, believes that the public will have an appetite for watching more top events.
He is delighted to learn of the plans for a three-day Tour of Yorkshire next year and believes it will be an attractive event.
“I am sure the crowds will turn out to watch top cycling events. Although there were many people who follow cycling who watched the Tour de France, there were many who were seeing it live for the first time. It will be good to have another top event in the county.”
Now that the Tour de France has departed Williams should find the roads that were used for the world’s greatest race much quieter as he heads out on his regular training runs.
He knows the beauty as well as the challenge they present and the world now knows that Yorkshire combines excellent scenery with challenging race stages.