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Friday, 18 January 2013

County gears up to maximise tourism potential of Tour de France

The announcement of the Grand Depart route of next year's Tour de France through North Yorkshire offers a unique tourism opportunity, according to council chiefs.




Councillor John Weighell, leader of North Yorkshire County Council, welcomed the inclusion of lengthy stages of the world famous cycling event in the county and predicted major economic benefits.

He said: “We are one of the sponsors of the bid, and we are absolutely delighted with today’s announcement of the route.

“As one of the world’s premier sporting events, the Tour de France brings enormous international exposure and interest in its wake, and the inclusion of Yorkshire can only be excellent news for the economy of North Yorkshire, and its hugely important tourism businesses.”

Richmondshire District Council says the event presents a world class opportunity and is gearing up to greet the spectacle and its supporters.

The district will be one of the main attractions on day one of the event in summer, next year. Details of the route of the race stages through Yorkshire were announced in Paris – with Richmondshire featuring alongside York, Harrogate and Craven in North Yorkshire.

Councillor John Blackie, leader of Richmondshire District Council, said: “This is a World Class competition that will run through World Class countryside here in Richmondshire — past the home of World Class Wensleydale cheese and amidst a World Class welcome on offer from Dales folk renowned for the friendliness.

ECONOMIC BOOST
“This is wonderful boost for the district and its economy – millions of people are expected to line the route of the race, and our fantastic scenery will be showcased to billions more on global TV and the worldwide web. The news will create interest and tourism opportunity in advance of the Tour and a legacy of business in the years that follow it being staged.

“We will be working with our partners, including local tourism operators, Welcome to Yorkshire, and North Yorkshire County Council to ensure the race entourage and the spectators have the best possible experience while it is in our district and that local businesses maximise the benefits the Tour will bring to them.”

The route enters Richmondshire on July 5, 2014 – having set off from Leeds the cyclists will travel through Skipton, before reaching Kettlewell, Aysgarth, Bainbridge, Hawes, Gunnerside, Reeth and Leyburn.  It then finishes the stage via Ripon and Harrogate for its overnight stop.

In following this route, cyclists will race through Upper Wensleydale and then down Swaledale, with two steeply graded climbs and descents across The Stake Pass into Bishopdale and the famous Buttertubs Pass between Hawes and Muker.


However,council chiefs in Hambleton say they are ‘bitterly disappointed’ that the world’s greatest cycling race will not be coming through the district.

“We are very disappointed that it won’t be travelling through Hambleton and its glorious countryside.  But we will be working hard to promote the area and hope to welcome many of the millions of visitors to the race into Hambleton,” said council leader, councillor Neville Huxtable.