The Streets Ahead team have been riding the Tour de France route as part of a sponsored bike ride. They experienced for themselves a little of what the race will be like on Sunday.

The keen cyclists from the project cycled the 24 miles the Sheffield leg of the race.

With support from Cycle Boost, the cycle support service working with Sheffield City Council to promote sustainable travel, they tackled seven gruelling climbs totalling half a vertical mile of elevation, including Oughtibridge’s Jawbone Hill and the notoriously steep Jenkin Road.

One of the riders, Richard Simpson, Quality Manger with Streets Ahead said:

“It was a challenging ride in places but it was an absolute pleasure to cycle on some freshly resurfaced roads which are a credit to Streets Ahead and will do Sheffield proud.”

As well as giving them a chance to assess the roads ahead of the race, the ride provided an opportunity to raise money for two excellent causes, Sheffield’s Cathedral Archer Project which helps the homeless and the National Osteoporosis Society.

Cllr Jack Scott, Cabinet Member for Environment, Recycling and Streetscene, said:

“The Tour de France is a fantastic opportunity to showcase Sheffield on an international stage. This sponsored bike ride enabled the teams to test the route and experience a little of what the Tour de France rides will experience, whilst also raising money for some very worthwhile charities.

“We are aiming to build on our investment in hosting this year’s prestigious Tour de France cycle race by using it as a platform to encourage more people to take to their bikes. Among the ideas being planned over the next year are opportunities to allow more people to try cycling to work and to provide training for those who need it.”

Following the announcement that Yorkshire had won the right to host the Tour de France Grand Depart, a thorough survey was carried out of the route.

As a result just over 4 miles of resurfacing work was carried out to ensure that the route was in a good condition and safe for the rides on the day.

In addition, 706m of safety barrier were replaced, street furniture was temporarily removed to allow for the smooth running of the race and a huge clear up operation has been planned.

Robert Allen, Business Director for Streets Ahead, said:

“We are proud of the work we have done on the Tour de France route and believe it offers the people of Sheffield a taste of things to come.

“Streets Ahead will ultimately ensure that Sheffield has one of the best road networks in the country.”

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