City leaders in York have added their backing to that of leading cyclists in the bid to bring the Tour de France to Yorkshire in 2016.
Welcome To Yorkshire announced the audacious bid on 28 March at York Barbican during their annual conference, calling for people to “Back le Bid” to bring the Tour de France to Yorkshire. The world’s largest annual sporting event, Tour de France is watched by 88 million people around the world.
City of York Council leaders have now written to Welcome to Yorkshire to offer their support and that of the city.
Cllr James Alexander, Labour Leader of City of York Council, said: “We wholeheartedly support Back le Bid. York has a long history in supporting cycling initiatives so we hope York will be given this incredible opportunity to be a part of the Grand Départ leg of the Tour de France.
“This would see the region benefitting from an additional visitor spend of tens of millions of pounds, something which is specifically important to our economy, in already playing host to over 7 million visitors a year.”
Kersten England, chief Executive of City of York Council, said: “Hosting the Tour de France represents more than bringing the world’s elite cyclists to the region, it will ensure that the people of Yorkshire can enjoy the event within their own communities and provide a welcome boost to the sport of cycling across all ages and abilities.”
Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “We are delighted to have City of York Council backing our bid. Yorkshire has a cycling heritage unrivalled anywhere in the UK. We have had more stage wins in the Tour de France than Scotland, Wales, Ireland or London and we have some true legends of Le Tour, not to mention a young crop of current riders. We want to pay tribute to those people and at the same time inspire a new generation of cyclists to emerge from York and the entire county to compete in the world’s largest annual sporting event.”
The opportunity to host the Grand Départ leg of the Tour de France in the region is an unmissable chance to showcase its incredible physical beauty to a worldwide television audience of over two billion people and 185 countries.
The Tour de France has come to the UK in the past once before, visiting Kent in 2007. The event attracted over 200 cyclists, over 2 million spectators, and saw hundreds of street parties being held in honor of the cycling event.
The public can show their support for the bid to bring the Tour de France to Yorkshire at www.yorkshire.com/backlebid.