One of the most powerful men in cycling wants to see the Tour de France come to Lancashire.
After the overwhelming success of Yorkshire hosting the Grand Depart of the world-famous event earlier this month, Lancashire-born Brian Cookson, who is the president of the international cycling union, now wants to see the peloton tackle the climbs and stunning scenery of his home county.
Thousands of people turned out to cheer cyclists from across the globe as they battled it out through Yorkshire’s picturesque towns and villages in stages one and two of the yearly road cycling event.
Now, UCI president Brian wants to put Lancashire on the map and let the world see how diverse, challenging and beautiful his home county is.
He said: “When the tour comes back I’d like to see it come to Lancashire.”
“In Lancashire we have got hills and valleys and flats,” he added: “We have great hilly countryside and lots of nice cafes to have a rest.
“Lancashire is always a great place for me to come back to, I’ve spent the week back home and it is always refreshing to come back and ride the routes I’ve been cycling all of my life.”
Sir Bradley Wiggins, who became the first British winner of the Tour in 2012, has lived in Eccleston, near Chorley, for a number of years and is credited with boosting cycling in the area.
Cookson wants more people to get on their bikes and explore the countryside.
He said: “I live near Whalley in the Ribble Valley so it is easy for me to explore some of the great cycle routes in Lancashire.
“There are some fantastic views in Lancashire including Hodder Valley and Dunsop Bridge – and the best way to see them is definitely on a bike.
“It is hard work riding up a hill but the beautiful view when you reach the top compensates for that and then there is the ride downhill which is exhilarating.
“If you don’t like hills there are many flat roads in the Fylde and the fantastic Guild Wheel is a super facility for anybody to ride