NEARLY 12,000 people have been named as successful applicants to become “Tour Makers” ahead of the Grand Depart arriving in the region.

The volunteer force will welcome millions of visitors when the Tour de France passes through Yorkshire on July 5 and July 6, before moving to the South-East for the Cambridge to London stage.

The next step is for volunteers to complete an online event training module before attending motivational training and uniform collection days in May and June.

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New Tour Maker, Heather Smith, 47, from Wetherby, said: “I am so excited about this opportunity and I’m hoping to be a flag marshal so my friends and family might see me on TV.

“I am very much into cycling and cycle myself – I’m hoping to do the Brownlee Triathlon later this year so busy training at the moment. I’ve only ever seen the tour on the TV so to be part of making it happen will be great.”

Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, the agency that led the winning bid to bring the event to Yorkshire and devised the Tour Maker idea, said: "The response since day one to the Tour Maker project has been unbelievable, with so many people wanting to be directly involved with this historic event.

“This project is now becoming a reality – and whatever role a Tour Maker plays wherever that is, they can say for years to come 'I was there and I helped make it happen'."

Tour Maker roles include way finders at transport hubs, route marshals, flag marshals and crossing marshals along the route.