Scott Thwaites is hoping that he will get the chance to ride the Tour de France on home territory.
The Burley-in-Wharfedale rider, currently completing in the Tour de San Louis in Argentina for the NetApp Enura team, said: “As a cyclist I have always dreamt of riding the Tour de France as it is the pinnacle of the sport – arguably the greatest athletic challenge in the world.
“I never thought that the Tour would start in Leeds, especially in a year when I am racing at Pro Continental level and with a team that has ambitions to ride the Tour.”
He added: “To start the Tour in Leeds next year would be amazing for me.
“I have always been appreciative of the massive local support when racing the Otley Town Centre race and I’m sure, with the area having big cycling tradition, the support will be massive.”
Thwaites, thinks the route for the first stage, which goes through Otley and Ilkley will be a good test for the world’s top riders.
“I’m delighted that the Tour is on my home roads,” he said.
“Traditionally the first week is flat for the sprinters but the grippy rolling roads of the Dales will provide a different challenge.
“It will be a springboard for attacking racing.”
There was big boost for Thwaites’ team yesterday when they received a wildcard from orgainsers ASO for one the most important races in the international programme for the first time, the Critérium du Dauphiné on June 2-9.
After securing invitations to Tirreno – Adriatico and Il Lombardia this is already the third WorldTour wildcard of te season for the team.
“Riding the famous Dauphiné is a great honour for us.
“ASO, already expressed its confidence in us with early invitations to the tours in Qatar and Oman.
“With the wildcard, they gave us an additional signal, which we really appreciate,” said team manager Ralph Denk.”