An international cycle race taking in different parts of Yorkshire could become part of the pro calendar from next year, it has been anncounced.
The news was revealed at Y14, Welcome to Yorkshire’s conference, held at Harrogate International Centre.
Tourism agency Welcome to Yorkshire, British Cycling and Tour de France organisers Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) made public that they are on the verge of signing an agreement to deliver a three-day elite race at today’s Y14 conference in Harrogate.
The official anthem of le Tour was also revealed at the conference, which marked 100 days until the start of the world’s largest annual sporting event.
Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “This is a momentous day for our county – we are just 100 days away from making history and a moment the world will never forget. Yorkshire will never have a better chance to shine on the global stage, and Welcome to Yorkshire will be doing everything in our power to maximise the positive impact of this opportunity that, alongside our partners, we have worked so hard to bring about.
“We are working closely with the ASO and British Cycling to continue the lasting legacy of Yorkshire’s Grand Départ by delivering this new race for Yorkshire from 2015, which will rank as a major new addition to the global cycling calendar. It has the potential to take in wider parts of the county and we look forward to announcing more details in due course.
“Alistair’s track is another way of making the most of bringing the world’s largest annual sporting event to Yorkshire and The Road captures the heart and spirit of not only our county, but the race itself and we are confident it will capture the interest of people across the country.”
Welcome to Yorkshiren is set to launch a marketing bid in London this summer, and unveiled its new advert, which will be screened in 3,000 London taxi cabs throughout April.
Yorkshire will also takeover King’s Cross station this spring, with nearly every ticket barriers emblazoned with Yorkshire’s Grand Départ and Yorkshire Festival 2014 branding.
The stage also saw legendary Yorkshire cyclist and first Briton to win a stage of the Tour, Brian Robinson, reunited with one of the world’s most famous cyclists Bernard Hinault, a five time winner of the Tour de France, praising the route of the 2014 Tour through Yorkshire.
Y 14 also heralded the start of Yorkshire Festival 2014. It’s the first time in the Tour’s history that a cultural and arts festival is taking place in the run-up to and alongside the race. The festival is being backed by Arts Council England, Yorkshire Water and local authorities.
The event at Harrogate International Centre, which attracted around 2,000 people, saw the official launch of the Grand Départ legacy project, Cycle Yorkshire, which includes a 10-year plan to make Yorkshire the cycling heartland of Europe.
And a group of Tour Makers – the volunteer force of thousands which will welcome visitors to the county this summer during the race – were unveiled and on hand to welcome guests at Y 14.
Y 14’s principal sponsor was Yorkshire-based telecoms giant Plusnet. Nick Silverwood, Head of Business at Plusnet, said: “Yorkshire really has the potential and passion to be a leader in business and tourism, which is why these initiatives launched today are so important in raising the county’s profile. 77% of businesses have told us that connected technology is one of the most critical elements of their business and we are working with thousands of businesses to make sure their operations run smoothly and that the technology they use can help in growing their business.”
The event was also supported by other major business including Eviivo, Evolution Print, Total Gas & Power, Irwin Mitchell, Lottie Shaw, Merit, Super Connected Cities, Superfast North Yorkshire, Merlin Software, Whites Print, Creative Spark, East Riding of Yorkshire Council and Taylor’s of Harrogate.