As The Tour Series heads to Wembley Park this afternoon, one man who will be on familiar ground is the face of ITV4’s coverage of the Series, Ned Boulting, who is well versed in heading up Wembley Way after many years working in football.

“I started off as a football reporter and carried on for about 15-years covering football at all levels, and, I’m such an old fart, I even remember the old Wembley!

“I remember Play-Off Finals, FA Cup Finals there, and then into the new Wembley England internationals there, so it is an enormously important place in my career.”

If you do see Ned on Tuesday at Wembley Park however, he won’t be continuing one routine from his FA Cup Final days.

“Weirdly I always used to ride to Wembley for my football work, and back again.

“Here’s the thing, when you work for the television at an FA Cup Final the tradition is you have to wear a suit. One of the toughest things is getting away from Wembley when there’s a big crowd there, so I used to cycle.  I used to have to arrange for someone to take my suit to Wembley and then I’d ride up there in lycra, change in the toilets next to the player’s tunnel into my suit, do my work and then scrunch my suit up into my backpack and ride home, and I’d be home about an hour and a half before anyone else!”

Is he tempted to bring the suit back out of the wardrobe to mark the occasion?  It’s a simple answer.

“No.  It’s quite a thought actually, just to mark the occasion, but no.”

As someone familiar with and well versed with many sports, not least cycling, the Wembley Park location was greeted as you’d expect with enthusiasm.

“Cycling is about landmarks, for a long time on the Tour of Britain the Westminster circuit has been iconic, and now the new London circuit is iconic.  The climbs that the race goes back to repeatedly like the Tumble and Haytor, they’ve become iconic, so I think The Tour Series needs a bit of that!

“Like the Tour de France it sells itself on the backdrop, and what bigger sporting backdrop is there in this country than the home of the national sport – Wembley.”

Before letting Ned escape back to his ITV4 duties in Northwich, we just had time to ask him his thoughts on what he’d seen so far of the 2017 competition.

”I’m unsentimentally attached to a tight competition, I don’t care who wins ultimately, I just want it to be close.  I did have my suspicions that JLT Condor might just run away with it, but the evidence is it be harder than they think.

“I like the strength in depth, and what I particularly like after having not been involved last year and coming back is I’m delighted to see the progress in the women’s side.  What we’ve just seen here in Northwich was a really unpredictable, very tightly contested race and long may that continue.  It looks and feels like it’s got close to parity with the men’s event now, and that’s a huge progression.”

You can see Ned Boulting presenting the highlights of the Wembley Park presented by Jurys Inn round of The Tour Series on ITV4 at 1900 on Wednesday 17 May, or catch-up with any of the programmes you’ve missed via the ITV Hub.