Winter? It felt like it: driving rain, windy, freezing cold. tagged along on the media/guest preview ride of the 105-mile Leeds to Sheffield stage. This will be "decisive stage" of the Tour, said Doyle, the event director.

Tony Doyle leads winter recce of Tour of Britain route

Today, Tony Doyle is shepherding 18 journalists and guests on the Buxton to Nottingham route. The weather forecast is for kinder weather.

Saturday’s ride was a wash-out, with just the final hour being bathed in summer sunshine. Snake Pass was covered in mist and it was only from Hathersage into Sheffield that the day looked like one in the middle of August.

Along for the ride was Doyle; Bob Barber, ex of British Cycling and in charge of technical signage at the Tour of Britain; MP Jon Trickett who’s only outside interest in the parliamentary register is "racing bicycles"; editor Carlton Reid; and Ian Collins, manager of tourism for Yorkshire Forward regional development agency, a Tour sponsor.

Doyle said progress on the Tour, which starts on 30th August, was going well with an "enormous amount of goodwill" from sponsors and media in the regions the Tour is passing through.

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