Tour to showcase Yorkshire coast


Published: Monday 22nd December 2014 by The News Editor

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The inaugural Tour de Yorkshire will go one better than this year’s memorable Tour de France Grand Depart in at least one respect, with the route set to include the region’s coastline.

Organisers of the new annual event, which aims to build on the ecstatic scenes as three million spectators greeted the world’s most famous bike race in July, announced on Monday that Leeds, York, Wakefield, Selby, Scarborough and Bridlington would host starts and finishes for the three-day race.

The full route will be confirmed on January 21, 100 days before the May 1 start.

But the initial announcement has already provided one key piece of the puzzle – with Bridlington and Scarborough both offering the chance to include some of Yorkshire’s finest coastal roads.

Gary Verity, chief executive of co-organisers Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “We wanted to make sure we took the race to parts of Yorkshire that missed out on the Tour de France and I am pleased to say that this first edition will heavily feature the Yorkshire coast.

“This was important for us because both ourselves and Christian Prudhomme (TdF director at Amaury Sports Organisation) were disappointed we could not include the coast on the Grand Depart. We are delighted that issue can now be addressed.”

Verity admitted that some parts of the region would be frustrated to be absent when the complete route is unveiled but pointed out that with an annual commitment to staging the race, nobody would be unhappy for long.

“The reality is we’re never going to satisfy everyone with every edition. There are 10,000km of roads in Yorkshire and our race will do less than 600km every year,” he said.

“Simple maths says not everybody will be happy all the time but over a period of time I’m sure we will get a slice of the action to everyone that wants to take part.

“In five years’ time I think everyone who wants to be covered will have been.

“We were oversubscribed this year and we have already had great representations for 2016 and beyond.”

Prudhomme, a key figure in the Tour de France, who will take an active role in events in Yorkshire, said: “I am delighted we are returning to Yorkshire where we saw the grandest ever Grand Depart for the Tour de France.

“It is clear the people of Yorkshire are passionate about cycling and we can’t wait to bring them this new race.”

Published: Monday 22nd December 2014 by The News Editor

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