“There’s that Frank Sinatra song, isn’t there? It’s very nice to go travelling, but it’s much nicer to come home – that’s how I feel sometimes,” says Madison-Genesis’ rider Tom Stewart after a recce of part of stage two of the Tour de Yorkshire route.
Yorkshireman Stewart, a member of the Donny Chain Gang with other local pros such as Russell Downing and Graham Briggs, will be home this weekend when the pro peloton returns to his home county.
Where the professional peloton will be going wheel-to-wheel on heavy, undulating roads in the white rose county for the second Tour de Yorkshire, Stewart will be riding very familiar routes.
“When the best riders in the world are coming here, to where I live and where we all train, and saying ‘Jesus, this race is hard’ – that’s pretty special,” he says, while offering an insight into how the stage might unfold.
In the video above, he points out long, open sections where crosswinds could decimate the bunch and the short, steep, ‘harsh and unforgiving’ climbs.
And Stewart is, unsurprisingly, relishing the chance to ride in front of a local crowd again after the support the race got in 2015.
“The second point is the how well received the race has been by the public in Yorkshire,” he admits. “It was simply out of this world last year – nobody was expecting that. It’s quite unbelievable really.”
Stage two this year will be a poignant one for Stewart, with the local bike shop he first joined on a club ride located just 500m from the finish line.