Tour delegation will visit county

Cyclists on the Tour de France
Cyclists on the Tour de France

A HIGH-PROFILE delegation from the organisers of the Tour de France will visit Yorkshire this May to begin the process of deciding who will host the 2016 Grand Depart.

The A.S.O. delegation, which it is believed will be headed by race director Christian Prudhomme, will be hosted by Welcome to Yorkshire, the tourism agency leading the bid to bring the world’s largest annual sporting event to the county.

The route submitted for consideration proposes Leeds city centre as the starting destination from which the 22 teams would weave their way to the Yorkshire Dales, head east to Scarborough, via York and the North York Moors, before dropping south to Hull and finally to Sheffield.

Over two days in mid-May the A.S.O. team will be shown the proposed route, view some of the hotels and facilities the Tour would need and be guests of honour at a dinner to welcome them.

Welcome to Yorkshire is also in the process of organising a world class technical team to be part of the bid party to ensure the Tour team are in no doubt that Yorkshire is a sporting destination more than capable of hosting the opening two days of the race.

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “This is big news for Yorkshire. We look forward to showing A.S.O. that Yorkshire is passionate about hosting the race and giving them the best overseas leg in Tour de France history.

“If we get this right as a county, with everyone working together pooling resources and expertise, this will be Yorkshire’s Commonwealth Games moment. It would have a similar impact on the county as the Games did in Manchester.”