Tour de Yorkshire: Jack keeps it in the family

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By its very nature things often come full circle in cycling and so will be the case this weekend when Yorkshire legend Brian Robinson witnesses his grandson compete on home turf.

Robinson, the first ever British winner of a stage of the Tour de France, is one of our greatest ever cyclists but on Thursday grandson Jake Womersley will be writing his own history in the Tour de Yorkshire.

Mirfield’s Womersley is just 22 and will be competing as part of a Yorkshire-based team in the shape of Holdsworth Pro Cycling, a famous name resurrected after 40 years without competition.

Womersley is hoping to make a big splash as the world’s top cyclists come to his back yard.

“Cycling has taken over my life really,” said Womersley. “I just started because it’s in my family, with my auntie and my grandad, I started racing when I was 13 or 14 and since then I’ve just progressed each year.

“Not everyone gets a chance to start the Tour de Yorkshire, a few British teams have missed out so we’re lucky but I think we’ve got a strong team, we’ll go there and try to make a big impact on the race.

“I’m nervous and excited at the same time, the team has worked hard to get onto the Tour de Yorkshire so we’ve got to take that and give it our best shot.”

Womersley added: “As a Yorkshire team it’d be nice to get the opportunity to wear the Yorkshire Bank leader’s jersey.

“You don’t get many opportunities to race on your home roads so it’s quite a dream come true for me.”

Womersley was speaking from a Yorkshire Bank Bike Library in Beeston Park, which is part of a scheme to encourage cycling in Yorkshire by providing access to reconditioned bikes. Mre than 5,000 bikes have been donated to the scheme and one of the collection vans is fittingly named after Womersley’s famous grandfather.

“I didn’t know about the van until today so it was a bit of a shock, it’s nice and he loves stuff like that, it’ll make him happy,” Womersley added.

“Being able to come somewhere like a Yorkshire Bank Bike Library and rent them for however long, it gives people the opportunity to go out and experience that freedom that every kid should get.

“It’s a really good setup, there wasn’t anything like this when I was a kid. I was lucky enough to have bikes passed down from my sister or whatever, but not everyone gets that opportunity.

“I think the Yorkshire Bank Bike Library can be the start of a cyclist, you need to start somewhere and having a bike as a kid is that first step to doing anything.”

*Jake Womersley from Holdsworth Pro Cycling was speaking at a Yorkshire Bank Bike Library in Leeds. For more information on Yorkshire Bank Bike libraries please visit www.ybonline.co.uk/bikelibraries