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Saturday, 25 October 2014

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Give cycling fans an easy ride on Monday

Lycra fever has gripped the Green household as we all countdown to the Tour of Britain coming to the county on Monday.

Mark Cavendish photo
Mark Cavendish, left, and Bradley Wiggins

We’ve been out in the back lanes and up certain fells, pounding the pedals, sweating over handlebars, swearing at gear changes and crying over the climbs (no, really).

We’ve even been watching the Vuelta Espana, or Tour of Spain, as excitement rises.

It was great last year to see big names such as Wiggo and Cavendish and others line up in Carlisle and race through the county’s roads and Cumbria turned out in force to show its support and appreciation, despite the gloomy weather.

Both British stars are returning for the race which starts on Sunday and Sir Bradley has already said that winning it is one of his targets for this year.

This time, the tour takes a different, and much better, course through the county, snaking through the west before facing the mighty climb up Honister. And I’m expecting a massive turn out along the way– especially for the gruelling Honister climb.

It is only the second day of the race, but it promises to be the most dramatic and most scenic of all the stages this year.

Monday isn’t the best of days to hold such a major stage and local bosses should expect a certain amount of Mondayitis as fans wangle a way to line the streets and slopes of the county to catch a glimpse of our two-wheeled heroes.

But managers should cut their staff a bit of slack. It isn’t every year (or even decade) that Cumbria gets to host a major international sports event, one that goes through a huge slice of the county, that is so accessible and is even free to see!

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