Clancy’s welcome return to the Yorkshire coast

Great Britain's Ed Clancy celebrates winning the Gold medal in the Men's Team Pursuit final at the Velodrome in the Olympic Park, during day seven of the London 2012 Olympics. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday August 3, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Cycling Track. Photo credit should read: Tim Ireland/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Great Britain's Ed Clancy celebrates winning the Gold medal in the Men's Team Pursuit final at the Velodrome in the Olympic Park, during day seven of the London 2012 Olympics. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday August 3, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Cycling Track. Photo credit should read: Tim Ireland/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
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Today will see an emotional return to the Yorkshire coast for Great Britain’s Olympic hero Ed Clancy.

The double Olympic gold medalist, five-time world champion and proud Yorkshireman is aiming to star on familiar ground in the inaugural running of the Tour de Yorkshire.

The JLT Condor rider will be joined by the cream of the world’s cycling scene in the opening stage of the event, which starts in Bridlington, snakes through Dalby Forest and through Whitby, before concluding on Scarborough’s seafront.

“When I was a kid I spent every summer on the beaches of Scarborough and Whitby,” said Clancy.

“I used to love it and it became something of a ritual for our family.

“I’ve just bought myself a campervan, so when the Tour de Yorkshire is over I’ll definitely be coming back for a few days out.”

Little enjoyment lies ahead over the next few days for Clancy though, as he focuses on the job in hand.

And having spoken to people about stage one of the course, he is a little concerned.

“I have had a chat to a number of people who have studied the course, and stage one certainly doesn’t look to be the easiest,” added Clancy.

“It will all be about racing hard and staying in there because the lanes are narrow and it’s the one most of the riders are worried about.”

Because of this, Clancy and his fellow riders will be hoping that cycling fans on the Yorkshire coast produce a vociferous atmosphere to help them along.

He added: “Everyone of the riders I have spoken to can’t wait for it.

“When you look at Ben Swift, who is from Rotherham, and Geraint Thomas, they spend their whole lives tackling races a million miles from home.

“This is a massive race that isn’t too far away from home, so it is a big chance to win something on home soil.

“Obviously, they’ll do well to recreate the crowds of the Tour de France last year when tens of thousands of people lined the course.

“But I’m sure there will be plenty of interest to generate the crowds.

“They make a difference to the riders as well.

“Can they actually give you extra strength in a climb? No.

“But when you are suffering, that big cheer can push you on.

“It was exactly like that in the London Olympics. When you have 6,000 people wanting you to win, you just can’t lose.”