BEDALE received two special visitors this week as the Tour de Yorkshire trophies rolled into town.

The impressive 'Y' shaped gold-plated trophies are on a tour across Yorkshire, stopping at schools and community hubs at the Tour's host towns along the way.

On Thursday it was Bedale's turn to get a preview of the prizes, as the men's and women's trophies visited Mowbray and Bedale Church of England schools, the train station, the high street and the leisure centre and library.

Bedale is one of three North Yorkshire host towns for the famous cycle race- the others being Scarborough and Selby - and stage two will finish in the town on May 3 after starting in Barnsley.

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North Yorkshire County Council leader Carl Les and Hambleton District Council leader Mark Robson were both on hand to welcome the trophies at Bedale train station.

Cllr Les said the race brought both excitement and economic benefits to the region and he is proud of the way North Yorkshire residents 'make an event out of the event'.

He said: "I think it is a huge boost to the area, it is boost for the whole of Yorkshire but particularly for our stage from Barnsley to Bedale.

"It is just such a huge addition to the local economy, you have literally hundreds of thousands of people who all come into the county to watch the race and they come and spend their money."

He added: "We also get worldwide exposure, the race is beamed out to 185 countries and you just can't buy that sort of exposure in terms of publicising and promoting the county."

Cllr Robson said the Bedale community was fully embracing the race, with events being planned across the town to celebrate the occasion.

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He said: "I know that there are a lot of organisations and voluntary groups who have come together to plan things.

"It brings people together from all walks of life and that is the wonderful thing, even if they are not necessarily involved in cycling.

"It is a fantastic thing for for Bedale."

The Tour de Yorkshire runs from May 2 to 5 and will pass through swathes of North Yorkshire including parts of the Dales and North York Moors along the way.