Cycling great supports our bid for Tour

SCARBOROUGH’S bid to bring the Tour de France to the town has received heavyweight backing from British cycling great Mark Cavendish.

Race officials will visit the area in October as part of a three-day trip to the region to run the rule over Welcome To Yorkshire’s bid to host the ‘Grand Depart’ stage of the 2016 race.

It is anticipated the proposed route would start in Leeds city centre before passing through Scarborough, showcasing the town to a worldwide television audience of millions.

Isle of Man-born Cavendish, 26, inset who has won 20 Tour de France stages and claimed this year’s prestigious green jersey as the race’s best sprinter, said: “My mum is from Yorkshire so I’m proud to be backing the Yorkshire 2016 bid.

“The region would provide a stunning backdrop to the Tour as well as a real test for the competitors. I have fond memories of holidaying in Yorkshire, a lot of my family still live there and it would be fantastic if the world’s greatest cycle race could come to Yorkshire, I’m sure it would host a stunning Grand Depart.”

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, added: “To have Mark’s backing for our bid is massive. We are serious about bringing Le Grand Depart to Yorkshire and giving the French a warm Yorkshire welcome.

“The country is passionate about sport and would be thrilled to host the most celebrated cycle race in the world.”

The inclusion of Scarborough would follow the successful hosting of the Tour of Britain in 2008.

Hosting the event would cost several million pounds, but the bid winner would hope to recoup that several times over. When London hosted the event in 2007, it generated around £100 million for the region.