Marcel Kittel says Yorkshire Tour de France roads 'dangerous'

Giant-Shimano team cycling in Yorkshire Image copyright PA
Image caption Marcel Kittel and the rest of the Giant-Shimano team tackled Yorkshire's roads on a training ride

A leading cyclist has described some of the roads on the Tour de France route through Yorkshire as "very dangerous".

Speaking after a training ride on location, Marcel Kittel said the "very narrow" roads bordered by stone walls would challenge a "nervous peloton".

Organisers said the route had been designed to provide a "technical challenge" for the world's best riders.

The Grand Depart begins in Leeds on 5 July and continues from York to Sheffield on 6 July.

Mr Kittel, who won four stages of last year's Tour de France, 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."

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