Countdown for the Tour de France begins in earnest

Former Tour de France cyclists England's Brian Robinson and France's Bernard Hinault, who won the race five times, on stage at Y14

Former Tour de France cyclists England's Brian Robinson and France's Bernard Hinault, who won the race five times, on stage at Y14

First published in News
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The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by

WITH just three months to go before the world’s biggest single sporting event comes to the region, cycling fever is riding high.

More than 2,000 people attended an event today (Thursday, March 27) to mark the beginning of the 100-day countdown for the Tour de France coming to Yorkshire.

They heard that as part of the Tour’s legacy a major international three-day cycle race could be coming to the county in 2015.

The Tour’s organisers, ASO, together with British Cycling and Welcome to Yorkshire, said they were to sign an agreement to deliver the race, featuring the sport’s elite, from next year.

York-based singer-songwriter Alistair Griffin has also penned a special song, The Road, commissioned by Welcome to Yorkshire as the official anthem of Yorkshire’s Grand Départ.

A first in the history of the Grand Départs, it is now available for people to order via letouryorkshire.com/song

Welcome to Yorkshire also unveiled a new advert which will be screened in 3,000 London taxi cabs throughout April.

And Yorkshire will also takeover King’s Cross station this spring, with nearly every ticket barriers emblazoned with Yorkshire’s Grand Départ and Yorkshire Festival 2014 branding.

Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity said: “This is a momentous day for our county – we are just 100 days away from making history and a moment the world will never forget.

“Yorkshire will never have a better chance to shine on the global stage, and Welcome to Yorkshire will be doing everything in our power to maximise the positive impact of this opportunity.”

He added: “We are working closely with the ASO and British Cycling to continue the lasting legacy of Yorkshire’s Grand Départ by delivering this new race for Yorkshire from 2015, which will rank as a major new addition to the global cycling calendar.

“It has the potential to take in wider parts of the county and we look forward to announcing more details in due course.”

The event at Harrogate International Centre also saw the launch of the official Grand Départ legacy project, Cycle Yorkshire, which includes a ten-year plan to make Yorkshire the cycling heartland of Europe.

It also heralded the start of Yorkshire Festival 2014 - the first time in the Tour’s history that a cultural and arts festival is taking place in the run-up to and alongside the race.

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