There is big excitement that the Tour De France will be in England again next year and especially in Yorkshire where two stages will be held. Among the most excited must be the people of Skipton where it passes on both days. A close second will be my home town of Mytholmroyd.
So What has Mytholmroyd got to do with cycling? Cragg Vale thats what. The road up through Cragg Vale from Mytholmroyd is the longest continuous incline in England and much appreciated by local cyclists, at least until you get to the top.
After cyclists in enthusiasm for the tour comes motorists as they anticipate that the roads of Yorkshire are about to benefit from very special attention.
What people have missed though is that the route dips ever so briefly into Yorkshire's traditional rival, Lancashire. And the road surface here, at the very top of Cragg Vale is about as bad as it gets. If the War of the Roses is not to go into extra time someone in Rochdale is going to have to pull their finger out and put their hand in their pocket.
Now I note that Rochdale is twinned with the French town of Tourcoing. Maybe the good people of Tourcoing could be called upon to have a word with the burghers of Rochdale to ensure that at least if Yorkshire pride is not protected at least French lives and limbs are.