Yorkshire Tour bid gathers pace
The 2016 bid to bring to Tour de France start to the United Kingdom and Yorkshire continues to build momentum.
Last Updated: 22/06/12 4:00pm
The 2016 bid to bring to Tour de France start to the United Kingdom and Yorkshire continues its momentum heading towards the National Road Championships.
The sight of some of British cycling’s elite riders racing in Yorkshire on Sunday is further evidence that the county is ready to host the Tour de France.
The National Road Race Championships, held at Ampleforth Abbey in Ryedale will feature some of the country’s most exciting riding talent eager to take the national jersey.
2011 saw first-time victors crowned in Bradley Wiggins and Lizzie Armitstead, the duo going on to campaign the prestigious jersey all over the world.
The nationals provide one of the final stops on the cycling calendar before the focus centres on this year’s Tour de France, the great race kicking off on June 30.
Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, which is leading the English bid and sponsoring the nationally important event, said: “This is the perfect send off for us as we prepare to head to Liège. Hosting the prestigious Nationals on the eve of the Olympics will showcase to the world that Yorkshire is a race ready location for the Grand Départ and we will take that message with us to Belgium.
“We have the backing of some of British Cycling’s biggest names in this year’s Tour de France in Mark Cavendish and Ben Swift, as well as Olympic gold medallist Ed Clancy. They know what a great location Yorkshire is for Le Tour and that is the message we are taking to France this summer. Yorkshire is the spiritual home of British cycling and the county is ready to host the Tour de France.”
Thousands of people are expected to line the roads around Ryedale to cheer on the elite men, women and under-23 riders including representatives from Team Sky and rivals still jostling for final places in the British Olympic team.
The county’s bid to host the Tour de France is gathering pace. It has the high profile support of former Tour legends from the county Brian Robinson - the first British man to win a stage of the Tour de France in 1958 - and Barry Hoban, winner of eight Tour de France stages - as well as the backing of local authorities including Kirklees, Calderdale, North Yorkshire County Council, Bradford, Wakefield, York and Leeds City Council, with Leeds being the bid host city supported by Marketing Leeds and Leeds City Region Partnership. The bid also has cross-party political support and buy-in from the business community.
The public campaign to Back le Bid to bring the Tour de France to Yorkshire is also gathering pace, members of the public can pledge their support by logging onto www.yorkshire.com/backlebid