To celebrate stage 1 of the 2014 Grand Depart, The Stephen Neal Group hosted a Grand De-Party at Platform North, The Factory Building, Victoria Avenue, Harrogate, HG1 1DX.
Yes, OK, so I bought another cycling T-shirt, and cap, and wristband… It was all for a couple of great causes.
This astonishing pop-up exhibition displayed beautifully a collection of vintage and modern bicycles. There were some true legends beautifully displayed here…
Let’s start with…
Tommy Simpson: 30th November 1937 – 13th July 1967.
The first British rider to wear the yellow jersey – 1962.
Bike frame number 286.
The display was perfect and very peaceful. People stayed with Tom’s bike for long time, often lost in thought.
No records exist for bikes built by Woodrup Cycles before 1973 due to a fire, however both Barry Hoban – the rider, and Ian McLean – the frame builder, have verified it’a authenticity as one of those from the 1960’s finished in Mercier team colours for the Tour de France. Damaged and returned to Woodrup Cycles to be repaired, Jim, an employee at the time, rode it until it was sold to Chris Forbes in Otley. Restored to it’s present glory by Chris it was eventually sold to Bob Garside – who was very generous with his time and told me so much about the history of this beautiful bike and his astonishing collection – in 2010, its current owner. When can I visit, Bob?
Here’s Barry Hoban, dispelling a few myths, interviewed by Ned Boulting in 2012…
Jackson: frame info needed!
Beryl Burton dominated women’s cycle racing in the UK, setting numerous domestic records and as well as winning more than 90 domestic championships along with seven world titles. She set a women’s record for the 12-hour time-trial which exceeded the men’s record for two years!
Burton won the women’s world road race championship in 1960 and 1967, and was runner-up in 1961. On the track she specialised in in the individual pursuit, winning world championship medals almost annually across three decades. She was World Champion five times (1959, 1960, 1962, 1963 and 1966), silver-medallist three times (1961, 1964, and 1968) and took bronze in 1967, 1970 and 1973.
In domestic time-trial competitions, Beryl Burton was almost unbeatable. She won the Road Time Trials Council’s British Best All-Rounder (BBAR) Competition for an astonishing 25 consecutive years from 1959 to 1983. In total she won 72 national individual time-trial titles.
In 1967, she set a new 12-hour time trial record of 277.25 miles – a mark that surpassed the men’s record of the time by 0.73 mile, and was not superseded by a man until 1969! In the process of setting this record she caught and passed Mike McNamara who was on his way to setting the men’s record at 276.52 miles and winning that year’s men’s BBAR!
Beryl Burton also set about 50 new national records at 10, 15, 25, 30, 50 and 100-mile distances; her final 10, 25 and 50 mile records each lasted 20 years before being broken, her 100-mile record lasted 28 years, and her 12-hour record still stands today.
Her prowess led to the rare distinction, for a woman, of an invitation to compete in the Grand Prix des Nations in 1967.
“I don’t feel that I’ve got anything special about me. I’ve just got two legs, two arms and a body, and a heart and lungs.”
7 times World Champion – Beryl Burton, OBE.
Another installment to come, including the legendary and utterly charming Ken Russell, winner of the 1952 Tour of Britain whilst riding as an ‘independent’ (no team), and his Ellis Briggs racing bike.
1952 Tour of Britain winning bike by Ellis-Briggs
Ken, 84 & Renee, Harrogate, July 2014
Ken’s Ellis-Briggs with his 1952 Tour of Britain Winners jersey.
If proof was needed of the popularity of Cycling as a sport in the UK now then a good Barometer has to be the ten deep crowds around the infamous Team Sky ProCycling Team Bus, aka The Deathstar. Not ten deep with the general public but with actual accredited worthies in and around the Tour de France!!
One key difference with Cycling is and hopefully always will be access to the riders and team staff. Within minutes of approaching Team Sky’s allotted piece of Leeds City Centre we were granted a few seconds with a very, very busy Rod Ellingworth, Performance Director within last year’s Winner’s team. A few years ago a British Team, with British winners at this race would have been a dream but now even the coaches, all be it famous ones now have to face the public and sign autographs!!
So using my old racing ties with Coach Ellingworth and around the chaos at Le Grand Depart we stole a few seconds with Rod who will be a man in demand for the next three weeks!!
After crossing the line on stage 1 of the Grand Depart in Harrogate for the Tour de France we caught up with John Degenkolb of Team Giant Shimano on Marcel Kittel’s win and his own hopes for stage 2.
Image ©Pierre TH / CyclingShorts.cc
An artist impression of the stage for the ceremony
Four Weeks to the Yorkshire Grand Départ Opening Ceremony: Be Part of History
The Yorkshire Grand Départ of the Tour de France 2014 kicks off exactly four weeks tonight with a spectacular Opening Ceremony and Team Presentation at the Leeds Arena, and a chance for spectators to become a part of history.
Defending champion Chris Froome and sprint sensation Mark Cavendish will be among top cycling stars to greet the crowd on July 3, as Yorkshire welcomes 22 of the world’s best cycling teams in a glittering ceremony showcasing some of the county’s top entertainment talent.
Yorkshire band Embrace will headline the event, which will be their first arena gig since their recent sell-out comeback tour and album. Their latest album went straight into the national album chart at number 5. Originally from Brighouse, Embrace have three number 1 albums, six top ten singles and over two million UK album sales behind them.
Embrace frontman Danny McNamara said: “It’s going to be amazing, to have one of the biggest annual sporting events in the world coming to our back yard and to be part of it is nothing short of massive, we’re really looking forward to it!”
Girls Aloud star Kimberley Walsh will join York singer/songwriter Alistair Griffin on stage to perform the track he wrote called The Road – the official anthem of Yorkshire’s Grand Départ 2014.
Kimberley, known the world over for her role in the multi-platinum selling group Girls Aloud, said: “It is going to be a night to remember and one where we make history together, giving the Tour de France a true Yorkshire welcome. Performing at this event with Alistair in our home county is going to be a special moment for me.”
To celebrate the collaboration between Yorkshire and France, million selling French singer Pauline Vassuer will sing her hit “Allo le Monde”.
The orchestra and chorus of Opera North will perform music specially created for the event live throughout the ceremony, conducted by composer Philip Sheppard, who composed music for London 2012.
The band Hope and Social, one of the stars of the hugely successful Yorkshire Festival, will also take part – teaming up with 100 performers of all ages who’ve joined them as they’ve taken their Tour of Infinite Possibility around the county.
Executive producer Martin Green, who was Head of Ceremonies at the London 2012 Olympics, said: “We’re breaking new ground here for the Tour de France with this ambitious show – it’s something much bigger and completely new to the cycling world. With the theme of the event The People of Yorkshire Welcome the World, this will give the riders the entrance they deserve as the Yorkshire Grand Départ celebrations begin.”
Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “We know how enthusiastic millions of people are to make sure they get a chance to be part of the Tour de France coming to Yorkshire and their first opportunity will be at the Opening Ceremony and Team Presentation on Thursday July 3. Thousands of people will be able to see up close and hear from these cycling stars, witnessing a moment in history and making the Tour’s arrival an unforgettable experience.”
The show will be broadcast around the world, with a special programme in the UK on ITV 4.
Hosts, ITV sports presenter Jill Douglas and the voice of the Tour de France Sebastien Piquet, will interview riders from the teams and Team Sky will parade their top secret Pinarello’s Dogma F8 bikes which have been a year in the making and are reportedly the best bikes the team have ever ridden.
Tickets for the not-for-profit event start at £45 upwards (all the highest priced £85 tickets sold out in minutes) and are available at www.letouryorkshire.com/tickets by phone on 0844 248 1585 or from the box office in Trinity Leeds shopping centre where no booking fee applies.
The Tickhill Grand Prix on 24th August has joined up with new Electrical giant YESSS ELECTRICAL who will be their title sponsor for at least the next 3 years.
The Tickhill Grand Prix is a closed road cycle race through the streets of Tickhill, near Doncaster, (DN11 9PT) and is hot on the heels of the Tour de France. Boasting 8 races, free admission, close to the action spectating, this is a great day for all the family.
YESSS Electrical have stepped in to support the event and see this as a major national promotion as the Race will be attracting professional Riders and Teams from all over the country as well as supporting grassroots Youth Racing.
Shaun Myers, Head of Design & Marketing at YESSS said, “the Tickhill Grand Prix is an amazing event. We were impressed by the effort and dedication that the organising team at Tickhill Velo Club put into their first event in 2013 and realized the huge potential of this great day”
“The Tickhill Grand Prix has a similar story to ours, success and growth that has come purely from the efforts and service put in by excellent staff and we had no hesitation in supporting them.”
Shaun Myers – Yesss Electrical – Head of Design & Marketing
Andy Birdsall – Tickhill Velo Club – Chairman
Andy Singleton – Yesss Group Europe – General Manager
“Rapid” Rich Stoodley – Tickhill Grand Prix – Organiser
Richard Stoodley from Tickhill Grand Prix said “It is amazing to have attracted such a dynamic, high profile company such as YESSS Electrical. It may look like a little village but the Tickhill Grand Prix is set to be one of the biggest town centre ‘crit’ style races in the UK, and it is the support of YESSS that has allowed us to fulfill our ambitions.”
He continued, “We are thrilled to be associated with YESSS and look forward to putting on a great event”
The Tickhill Grand Prix hosts 8 races from 13.00 till 19.45 and these include Professional Elite – both Men & Women – Penny Farthing Race and a host of Amateur & Youth Races.
With Big screens, free admission, free programme, after event presentation and plenty to do and see, the Tickhill Grand Prix is a must for your diary.
Richard went on to say “British Cycling, Doncaster Council and South Yorkshire Police have been very supportive in helping us stage this important event and we are working closely with them to put on a safe event for both Riders and spectators.”
But its not just about Racing and promotion, the Tickhill Grand Prix has also agreed a 3 year official partnership with Yorkshire Air Ambulance and will see collections and a sponsorship profit share donated to this much needed Charity.
Mary Perry from Yorkshire Air Ambulance commented “We were delighted when the Tickhill Grand Prix approached us to become a partner. Cycling is a huge, fast growing sport and with all eyes being on the Tour de France this year, fantastic events like Tickhill Grand Prix will gain Yorkshire Air Ambulance much needed exposure and funds”.
Although YESSS are the title sponsor, sponsorship and fundraising opportunities are still available and the organisers can be contacted on [email protected] or visit www.tickhillgp.com
The YESSS Tickhill Grand Prix is set to be the success story of 2014, mainly because of the efforts and vision from YESSS Electrical.