BLOG:  The Yorkshire hills are alive - with the sound of cycling


It’s that time of year when cycling fever sweeps God’s Own Country. The Tour de Yorkshire will be winding its way across the great county of Yorkshire for four days from 3 to 6 May.

As usual, the elite of the cycling world will be going head-to-head as they vie for the winner's jersey.

But you don't need to be a champion to tackle Yorkshire's hardest hills. You just need to have a love of cycling and a lot of grit. Our very own Paul Smith, Commercial Manager at Virgin Trains East Coast, took part in the 2017 Maserati Tour de Yorkshire Sportive. This is what he had to say:

"It’s like heaven and hell!

Riding the Tour de Yorkshire Sportive doesn’t half have its highs and its lows… literally! You won’t find many other rides that try to cram in as many of the biggest climbs and stunning descents that Yorkshire has to offer. Last year was my first experience, and one that will last in the memory.

Going it solo, the ride began in outskirts of Sheffield. The weather was much colder than I had anticipated so the choice of bib shorts rather than tights was an amateurish mistake to make from the off. The organisers didn’t pull any punches either - having barely covered ½ a mile, we were thrown into the first climb, Pea Royd Lane… 0.7 miles of uphill with sections reaching gradients of almost 25%.

And as my lungs were bursting out of my chest near the crest, who was there to greet me? It was none other than an official photographer to capture my grimace. It was utter hell!

First hill done and a few miles later, I finally caught my breath… and a glimpse of the stunning views. I feel so blessed to live in Yorkshire. Eventually finding my rhythm, it wasn’t too long before I found a similar paced group. They were all too happy to let me join them and the conversations quickly began to flow. And this is how the sportive works (at least for me anyhow)… spending sections of the sportive with other riders, having a good chat and then moving up (or sometimes back) to another group to do it again.

The hills didn’t let up but by this point, you knew what you we’re in for! And the company is a superb help in keeping you motivated to get to the top and keep pushing on. The crowds are great too and none more so than at the end. Crossing the same finish line that the pros will later that same day was just electric. Cycling fans and families out in force and giving you such a buzz was pure heaven! Sign me up again!"

Why not come along and cheer on the competitors? We’ll be at a number of the start and finish locations. Come along and say hi to us under our Virgin Trains gazebo, and we’ll hook you up with an exclusive 30% off discount code and maybe some freebies. (Who doesn’t love a freebie?)

You can find us at the following locations:

Doncaster Finish - Location: Doncaster, Bennetthorpe, DN2 6AJ

Ilkley Finish - Location: Cow and Calf, Ilkley LS29 8BT

Leeds Finish - Location: The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 3AA


Book your train tickets now


See you there!

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