Unenthused by the Tour de France coming to Sheffield? So is our columnist Colin Drury...
The Tour de France, hey?
Never in the history of Yorkshire can one sports event have generated so much unnecessary hype and so much pointless publicity.
Sheffield is a proud city. We had the World Cup here once, and you know what we did? Put a few picnic benches outside the Town Hall, strung up some flags near the station and gave a few pubs permission to stay open late. Then life continued as normal while a bunch of blokes kicked a pig’s bladder around at Hillsborough. As it should be.
But Le Tour? Talk about overkill. Since when does a bike race need an accompanying cultural festival? Since when did it need a daily countdown in the local paper? Since when did it need every chancer and charlatan looking to cash in on the publicity to try and somehow link their business to a bunch of blokes pedaling about? A bike ride just needs some half decent roads - sort of like the rest of us, actually.
And the next person who mentions sporting legacy... We’ve had a few of those in Sheffield. Don Valley Stadium was a legacy once.
So what next? Maybe next year we can splash out millions of pounds of our money to get a stage of the Boat Race on the River Don. It would be about as underwhelming, wouldn’t it?
Still...you know what? If you’re going along to watch, do enjoy.
But, really and truly, is this writer be the only person who’ll be glad when the whole thing has gone back home to France?