Rotherham cyclist Ben Swift has extra reason to relish the prospect of the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire in his home county later this year.
The Team Sky rider missed the chance to ride in last summer’s Tour de France and instead had to watch the spectacular Grand Depart on television.
Now Swift will get the chance to sample some of the unique atmosphere of those two days in the new three-day competition which begins on May 1.
Swift said: “It was disappointing not to make the cut for the Tour de France especially as it was going through roads I trained and grew up on .
“I had mixed feelings watching the Tour de France on TV - I was tired after a long season so it was nice to sit at home, but it was also hard to watch in the knowledge that I was missing out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“All this makes up for that a bit. It is a follow-on from how successful cycling has become in Britain and with the level it is coming in at it is just going to be a hit straight away.”
The race - produced in partnership between Welcome To Yorkshire and ASO - the French body which is behind the Tour de France, will start in Bridlington and finish in Leeds.
Welcome To Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity said: “Our aspiration for this is clear, and that is to make it the best race of its kind in the world.”