Dominance over two Olympic Games on the track, and now having produced two Tour de France winners in two years (after a wait of a century!) has put the sport on the front pages as well as the back, and provided a sharp focus for the groundswell of weekend – and weekday – pedal pushers.
This popularity should see decent figures for Eurosport’s live coverage and ITV4’s highlights packages at 9pm. The rising profile of the race means many top international stars will form a peloton that will delight the hoards at kerbside. Not quite the mania of Alpe D’Huez but things can get spicy in Stoke, too.