Letter from the editor
Yorkshire’s Grand Depart in 2014 was a watershed moment for the Tour de France. It was so big, so remarkable that every host since has had to up their game. I was lucky enough to be there and chose to drive the route of stage one with photographer Andy Jones.
We suspected the crowds would be good, but nothing could prepare us for what we were about to see. There were lots of people along the A61, as the race headed north out of Leeds on the neutralised stretch, then in the rural areas it naturally got a bit quieter. All the small towns and villages it went through were packed – then we hit the first little climb just before Skipton our jaws hit the dashboard.
The crowds were enormous, like a concentrated Alp d’Huez, and after the stage, riders said the noise was almost deafening.
That is what made the Grand Depart so incredibly special. The fans. It’s what everyone, from ASO, to the riders and the media, remembers of that weekend.
Next week is your chance to do it again. To get out on the roadside and create an atmosphere so off-the-scale that everyone will be talking about the 2019 Worlds for years to come.
So pack a rain jacket, some food and water, this magazine (of course), get out on the roadside and enjoy the World Champs.
Cycling Weekly magazine editor
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