Tour de France 2014: stage two - five observations

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Tour de France 2014: stage two – five observations

GC contenders show their strength as Vincenzo Nibali claims yellow jersey in Sheffield

Estimates placed the crowds lining the route on stage one of the Tour de France in the millions, and the Yorkshire public proved it was not just a flash in the pan on stage two.

Again they packed the roadsides, seeking out the best vantage points in the villages and on many climbs ascended by the peloton en route to Sheffield.

Giant crowds, the most striking feature of stage one, returned in their thousands for stage two. (pic: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)

We wondered aloud  whether the scale of supporr is proof Britain is now a cycling nation, and perhaps it will not become clear until we get chance to assess the legacy.

But at the very least, Welcome to Yorkshire chief Gary Verity will be delighted by the weekend – and with the Tour of Yorkshire to look forward to next year, hopefully, the ASO already have a major new date in the diary to look forward to.

It is only the fourth time the Tour has travelled to British shores and the crowds have certainly not disappointed.

Riders spoke of problems with some fans encroaching on the road for dangerous photos, and a few isolated incidents saw fans taken to hospital.

But the fact we are even talking of such problems shows just how far British Cycling has come in recent years.

It was the Tour’s first visit to northern England, and we can only hope it will not be the last.

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