Despite the Tour de Yorkshire being one of the many races cancelled by the coronavirus, former British road race champion Connor Swift has still decided to ride the 2020 course on his own.
Setting off for stage one on Wednesday May 13 at 9am, the Arkéa-Samsic rider will ride the four-stage race on his own, paying homage to his Yorkshire route.
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Stage one saw Swift tackle the 176.5km route from Beverley to Redcar, up Yorkshire’s east coast, featuring the category two Côte de Hooks House Farm and the category two Côte de Lythe Bank.
“It’s been a headwind all day,” Swift said during stage one. “Over halfway now, 88km to go, that headwind just hasn’t stopped.”
The 24-year-old received assistance from a friend, who’s acting as soigneur, mechanic, van driver, camera operator and even crazed fan, running alongside Swift with a Yorkshire flag on the Côte de Lythe Bank.
After Swift finished, in both first and last place, he was asked how the fans were out on the road, replied jokingly: “They were unreal, I just want to thank every on the hills and KoMs, they took the pain away from my legs.”
He will continue with stage two, rolling out at 9.20am for a 124.5km route from Skipton to Leyburn, featuring the category one Côte de Buttertubs and the category two Côte de Grinton Moor.
Swift enjoyed a bright start to the 2020 season, his second with Arkéa-Samsic, finishing third in the youth classification at the Saudi Tour, before finishing fifth in the youth classification of Paris-Nice.
With the Tour of Britain being postponed until 2021, will we see Swift take on eight further stages of British road racing? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.