Tour brought Sheffield pride now let’s get more top events

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For once I felt OK about coming from Sheffield and Yorkshire, proud and humbled by ordinary people turning out along their local roads to witness the spectacle.

We talk about legacy, but even though the Tour may return, and Sheffield, now on the international cycling map, may host other major events, this was an unrepeatable day. It made me realise just how much we need this kind of excitement, how deprived we are around here of the vibe of top international sporting and cultural happenings.

There was scepticism and that was maybe understandable, starved as we are of success , conditioned to second-rate or even sad fiascos such as the half marathon. What if it had rained?

I hope there are youngsters out there who are inspired to strive to emulate the achievements of the cyclists and that we can establish the opportunities around Sheffield for them to pursue their ambitions to their limits.

Let’s be realistic though; without the Tour’s organisers choosing to come to Yorkshire, no local council could have tempted them.

Future events may well be devoured by Manchester, although a stage between the two cities would be very attractive and again help to lift Sheffield and the area in ways that aren’t entirely calculable in bank accounts.

There remains the issue of whether Sheffield City Council can or wants to underwrite safe cycle lanes.

Present councillors may well still be struggling to convince people that they have the correct priorities where local infrastructure and planning is concerned when we remember the World Student Games and debts incurred by it.

What we can do without is instant nostalgia and having to live on the memories of a fabulous weekend. The Tour and life move on. For God’s sake let’s move with it.

Phil Hutchinson

S8