MORE than 5,000 Tour Makers took to the stage at the first major Tour de France event for volunteers.

The thousands of men and women will be welcoming millions of visitors to the race in the UK this July. They were given their first insight into what their roles and responsibilities will be at an event at the First Direct Arena in Leeds on Saturday, May 24.

The aim was to give the Tour Makers the chance to meet other volunteers and give them an overview of race day and what to expect at the world’s largest annual sporting event.

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They were entertained by a live show featuring motivational presentations from tour legend Brian Robinson, Olympic gold medallist Nicola Adams, Gary Verity and Nicky Roche.

It was capped off by a live performance by Alistair Griffin of The Road - the official anthem of Yorkshire's Grand Départ.

Tour Makers have already been offered race day roles and locations. The next step will be for them to attend a training session in June. The training in June will be role-specific, to ensure the Tour Makers are fully prepared to undertake their assigned responsibilities in July. Tour Makers will then collect their uniforms after their training session.

Leeds-based supermarket Asda has teamed-up with the project to help recruit the Tour Makers.

Welcome to Yorkshire led the winning bid to bring the Tour de France to Yorkshire and devised the Tour Maker idea. Chief executive Gary Verity, from Coverdale in North Yorkshire, said: "It was really incredible to see so many Tour Makers all together for the first time under one roof. The excitement and enthusiasm they all have for the Grand Départ is just brilliant and there's no better group of people to welcome our millions of visitors than our Tour Makers."

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