This weekend marks another milestone in Yorkshire’s growing renaissance as the sporting capital of Britain.
Big words? I don’t think so.
No matter what the sport it seems that we are challenging at the top of it.
Look at professional football. Yes, I know Yorkshire (currently) only has one representative in the Premier League but take a look at the top four divisions.
By my quick scan of the tables I make it that there are 10 Yorkshire teams in the top four divisions so basically one in nine teams is from the white rose.
Not convinced? Take a look back at the 2012 Olympics. We were 11th in the medal table.
We’re not even a country and yet we finished higher than Australia!
Still not convinced? Take a look at county cricket – Yorkshire are champions. Yes, I know that last year’s win was the first time since 2001 but in total that win took us to 31 (plus one shared).
Next up is snooty southern Surrey with just a mere 18 (plus one shared). 18? Pah, a drop in the ocean to the Tykes is that.
I could go on (and for the purposes of this column I am contractually bound to do so) but this weekend will be the biggest sporting weekend in the county this year.
The inaugural Tour de Yorkshire takes place, starting on Friday and traversing the various highways and byways of our four fair ridings over the three days of the event.
Last year’s Tour de France will take some beating but I think folk round here have got it in them to give the race some real welly and make it a permanent fixture on the sporting calendar.
But that was a French event and the farmers replicated the shoulder shrugging and Gauloise smoking antics of the real French deal.
A Yorkshire farmer maybe wouldn’t attract so many people to the square. He’d have a ruddy face, hands big as shovels and withering put downs for town folk like you and I!
The Tour was an easily identifiable brand – one already famous around the world and all Yorkshire did over that sun-kissed summer weekend was amplify it.
This time we have a chance to shape and promote something that will have a future in the county – rather than a glorious past.
Having checked the weather for Sunday it appears that it won’t be quite the same as last year’s event. I’d suggest swapping the Ambre Solaire for a sturdy coat and the sunglasses for gloves.
Yes, you guessed it, even the weather is going to be Yorkshire this year rather than the touch of the Cote d’Azur we enjoyed in 2014.
But does that matter? It might to a few soft folk not from here but if Yorkshire is going to continue to grow its international reputation then it’s vital that the good burghers of Barnsley, Wakefield, Whitby, York, Meltham, Scapegoat Hill and all points between turn out to cheer on the riders.
The French call it Joie de Vivre. We just say ‘It’s a reyt good day’.