Many, many years ago, when I was a callow apprentice for a large engineering firm, I went on a company-sponsored adventure week in Wales. I shared a room, youth-hostel style, with a fellow apprentice, who was mad keen cyclist. His idol was a Frenchman, multiple winner of the Tour de France, Jacques Anquetil.
Apart from his sporting prowess that gives him hero status, it’s his independent attitude and quirky interests that raise him to idol status. Surely cementing his status in his homeland is his commitment to ride in this years’ Tour of Britain cycle race, and thereby turning down a ride in one of the cycling’s three grand tour races, the Vuelta a España.
Fantastic. The Tour of Britain 2012 finishes in Guildford on Sunday 16th September. Here’s the route from the Tour’s horribly slow website.
“The Grand Depart will take place in Ipswich, with Suffolk and Norfolk hosting the opening stage of this year’s race on Sunday 9th September. From there The Tour will visit Nottingham, Knowsley and Merseyside, Scotland, the North West, Stoke-on-Trent, Wales and Devon before the challenging final stage in the Surrey Hills, finishing on Guildford’s uphill, cobbled High Street on Sunday 16th September.”