TOWN leaders have been urged to grasp the opportunity of global publicity as work gets underway to organise a dramatic finish for two stages of the 2019 Tour de Yorkshire.

Bedale was rewarded for its huge efforts last year, when the race came through for the first time, by being named the finish venue for stage two of the men’s race and the first stage of the women’s race on Friday, May 3 next year.

A special roadshow for business and community backers is being held in Bedale on Thursday, January 17 by Welcome to Yorkshire to give out more details and advise on how to make the most of the event.

In the meantime, a working group is being formed in the town to bring the local response together.

Kayleigh Catford from Welcome to Yorkshire told a meeting of Bedale Town Council there would be a huge amount going on in Bedale with organisers, supporters and competitors and TV channels looking for space.

She added: "If Bedale creates the environment to welcome visitors and provide the excitement that this is the place to watch it, there is a massive opportunity to keep people here for a long time.

"There will be a sprint finish and that creates a lot of interest, it is worth spending time looking at what Bedale might do to make it the best ever finish.

"I have no doubt you will excel yourselves."

Councillors were told money could be forthcoming from other authorities – potentially Hambleton District Council and North Yorkshire County Council – as Bedale is the only start or finish in the Hambleton area next year.

North Yorkshire County Councillor for Bedale, Cllr John Weighell, said: "It is impossible to overstate how big these events are and what a wonderful opportunity this is for Bedale.

"It is not just the race it is the TV coverage, the commentators are sat in a box in Bedale all day long.

"It really is a massive event and a huge bonus to have two finishes, the men’s and women’s stages on the same day.

"The crucial thing is where the finish line is going to be.

"The speed they are going they need space. There is a lot to it and it is how much we can all work together to make this a fantastic day."

The town council agreed to pay £247 to become members of Welcome to Yorkshire to improve promotion of the town.

The roadshow on Thursday, January 17 is at Bedale High School at 6pm.