Frazer reflects on Le Tour challenge
Danby's Frazer Clacherty has described competing in the Tour de Yorkshire as 'the hardest thing I've ever done on a bike.'
The Great Britain Cycling Team ace, who was the youngest rider in the peloton, endured a difficult three days of competition, but still managed to finish the 519-kilometre event.
“I’m just really pleased that I managed to get all the way around,” said the 18-year-old who hails from a small village just outside of Whitby.
“The distance over the three days of the Tour is the longest I’ve ever ridden, never mind raced.
“By the end of stage three I couldn’t feel my legs anymore, but I just kept pedalling because I knew that if I stopped then I wouldn’t be able to start again.”
Clacherty was dismounted following a crash close to the start line in Beverley on day one, breaking his bike in the process.
Undeterred, the former Whitby Community College student borrowed a bike and managed to finish the first stage.
“This is the biggest race I have ever been involved in and the worst thing that could have happened, happened,” he added.
“Another rider crashed near me and his bike snapped, and as a result I hit the deck and smashed my own bike up.
“I didn’t have a spare so I had to borrow one, which had different pedals, so I then had to ride in different shoes to those I am used to.
“Riding pretty much the whole day like that wasn’t ideal and by Saturday morning I was feeling a bit doubtful about whether I could keep going and actually make it to the end.”
Despite finishing stage one in last place, Clacherty, who took up the sport aged 15 and was offered a place on the British Cycling Development Programme two years ago, enjoyed better rides on days two and three, leaving him able to reflect on an “incredible experience”.
“The Tour is the biggest event I’ve taken part in, I’ve never ridden in front of crowds of this size before, it’s been overwhelming at times and just an incredible experience,” he said.
“Riding past my house in Danby on day three was one of the highlights, and the atmosphere at the finish line in Scarborough was also electric, even though I finished some time after the winner came in.
“The whole of stage three was really enjoyable for me personally, even though it was hard work and my body was really aching by that point.
“It was quite surreal racing in the Tour de Yorkshire on the same roads that I usually train on, but then hearing people in the crowd shouting my name and cheering me on as I went past was just brilliant.”