Sheffield cycling fans have spoken of their disappointment after Sir Bradley Wiggins revealed he will not race in the Tour de France.
The 2012 winner confirmed that he would not be in the race unless Team Sky colleague Chris Froome was injured before the start of the event on July 5. It arrives in Sheffield in four weeks’ time on July 6.
David Bocking, of the Sheffield CycleBoost scheme, said: “I would say for the public it is going to be more difficult to get excited about Chris Froome than Bradley Wiggins.
“The people we talk to, people getting into cycling, like him as a character as well for being a great cyclist.
“It is a shame. Chris Froome is great and anybody in cycling will be just as excited but he isn’t known in the same way as Bradley Wiggins is.”
Maxine Gregory, who lives in Grenoside and is part of a women’s mountain biking team, added: “I think there is a real strength and depth in the team, so they will still do great, but it is disappointing for the people who are going to go along and watch.
“He is one of the cyclists that people want to see.
“It’s a bit of a blow but I’m sure it won’t affect the success of the day.”
But Chris Rust, who runs the Nether Edge Bikebus project, said: “It doesn’t make a difference to me.
“I am sure it will still be a really big success.
“The important thing is that people understand that Britain is a leading cycling country.”
Sheffield Council said it was ‘not appropriate’ to comment on the announcement.
Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, which led the bid to host the event, said: “From a selfish point of view I am obviously disappointed.
“Sir Bradley is still a great champion, he inspired millions of people when he became the first British rider to win the Tour. However I am sure this is not the last we will see of him in the Tour.
He added that whatever combination of riders was revealed would be ‘exciting’.