Simpson took to the beautiful countryside of South Yorkshire over the Easter weekend to sample some of the roads that the Tour de France will race on in just a few weeks’ time. Many of them have been resurfaced, which is just as well because some of those that haven’t are in a truly shocking state. But the new tarmac is silky smooth and some of the routes it follows truly take the breath away (as do some of the hills...this is most definitely not a flat part of the world). We saw several potentially excellent vantage points for would-be Tour spectators but if you’re planning to catch the action we would recommend planning ahead – with more than a million people expected for the Grand Depart, this isn’t the kind of event you can expect to decide to attend on the day. We joined Sheffield’s La Squadra (http://lasquadra.co.uk/) riders for our Yorkshire recce and a finer bunch of chaps you couldn’t hope to meet. We will be meeting up with some of them again for the Eroica Britannia at the end of June and we can’t wait. Meanwhile, our best wishes go to Dan Kilby, one of the La Squadra team, who ended this weekend’s ride in the back of an ambulance after getting into a disagreement with some Sheffield tram lines while very generously escorting Simpson back to base. Get well soon Dan!