Yorkshire makes Tour de France bid official
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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Yorkshire makes Tour de France bid official

by VeloNation Press at 7:24 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 
Moves to try to bring cycling’s top event back to Britain

Mark CavendishThe head of Yorkshire’s tourist board has officially confirmed that the region has bid to host the 2016 Tour de France, going up against Scotland, Barcelona, Venice and Berlin in trying to attract the race.

Gary Verity has said that the bid had been launched with Tour organisers ASO and that the region was determined to try to secure the world’s biggest annual sporting event.

“We have formally submitted our bid over the weekend to bring the Tour de France to Yorkshire,” Mr Verity said at the House of Commons launch event for a new quarterly magazine called Yorkshire Vision.

“It is the world’s biggest sporting event – 88 million people watch it on television, 5,000 people every night stay wherever the Tour goes, and that’s not including the spectators.”

Verity’s comments were printed in the Yorkshire Post and follow previous reports that the region was interested in the race. Several of Britain’s top riders are from the area, including Olympic gold medalist Ed Clancy, former world downhill champion Steve Peat, British national champion Lizzie Armitstead, Sky Procycling rider Ben Swift, Endura Racing's Russell Downing and current National Circuit Race Champion Graham Briggs.

Britain’s first Tour de France finisher and first stage winner Brian Robinson is from the area, as is eight-time Tour stage winner Barry Hoban. Tom Simpson competed a lot in the region and lived close by.

Verity said that the hosting of the race is by no means certain, but that the region would fight to secure it.

“We’re in competition with the Scots, ironically, who by then may or may not be an independent country by the time the Tour comes here – but they’re getting English taxpayers’ money to bring the tour to Scotland. We’re in competition with Barcelona, with Venice, with Berlin, but we believe Yorkshire has more to offer than all of those places and we believe we’re in with a serious chance.”

Cycling is enjoying an ever-expanding profile in Britain, due both to an increase in the general numbers of people training, racing and commuting, and also because of the success of riders such as Mark Cavendish, Bradley Wiggins, Armitstead, Emma Pooley, Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton and others.

The country hosted the start of the race in 2007 and experienced a huge turnout of spectators.

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