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Some of Yorkshire's Tour roads dangerous for peloton - Kittel

25th April 2014

Narrow road at Bainbridge, Yorkshire Dales

The BBC reports that Marcel Kittel, winner of four stages in the 2013 Tour, has expressed fears for the safety of the peloton on narrow roads bordered by stone walls in Yorkshire. 

Kittel and his Giant Shimano team recently rode some of the route as a recce and training ride. He said, 'I think the roads are in some parts very dangerous for a peloton of the Tour de France. On the descents when you ride through the more lonely roads in the middle of nowhere they are very narrow and very small with stone walls on both sides, so [when] a very nervous Tour de France peloton fighting for the yellow jersey passes by there can be a very dangerous situation.'

A spokesman for Yorkshire's Grand Depart said, 'Yorkshire's two stages will undoubtedly test the world's best cyclists. They have been designed by the race organisers to provide a technical challenge to the peloton as befits the best cycle race in the world. We would encourage the other teams to follow in the footsteps of Giant Shimano in coming to Yorkshire to recce the routes in advance so technically and tactically they are fully prepared come 5-6 July.'

The Yorkshire Post reports that it was a 3-day recce, from Easter Monday, 21st April 2014, for a six-man Giant Shimano squad. They rode the finish of Stage 1 to Harrogate on Monday and Wednesday, and the final 100km of Stage 2, the Hebden Bridge to Sheffield section, on Tuesday. It was the final climb on Stage 2, of Jenkin Road, which struck them most. It is 33% at its steepest, and when they had climbed it, the team boss asked them to ride back down, and climb it again. Rider Koen de Kort said it was so steep, he thought about getting off and pushing. 

It is expected that Team Sky and BMC Racing will also recconoitre the route.