Le Tour celebrations in Ripon

100 days countdown to the Grand  Depart dinner. (1403271AM7)
100 days countdown to the Grand Depart dinner. (1403271AM7)

Tour de France officials joined cycling legends for a gala dinner at Ripon Cathedral to mark 100 days until the beginning of the 2014 Tour.

The dinner is an annual event, held as part of an agreement with the hosts of the Grand Départ.

President of British Cycling Bob Howden joined actor Dean Andrew and Tour legends Brian Robinson and Bernard Hinault at the dinner.

The event, held on Thursday last week, saw Welcome to Yorkshire, British Cycling and ASO officially sign a memorandum of understanding to work together to deliver a new race around Yorkshire from 2015.

Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “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.”

Tour festivities continue in Ripon today (Friday) when Graeme Obree, who twice held cycling’s world hour record in the 1990s, speaks at Ripon Cathedral at 7pm.

Graeme, who was known for his unusual riding position and for the Old Faithful bicycle he built which included parts from a washing machine, was the subject of the biopic The Flying Scotsman in the 2006 British film starring Jonny Lee Miller.

Further upcoming talks which are part of the festival are:

– Alastair Humphreys ‘Round the World Cyclist’ and Atlantic Oarsman, at Newby Hall on Friday, April 25.

– An Audience with Rob Penn, author of ‘It’s All About the Bike’, at Fountains Abbey with some jazz music to start the evening off, on Monday, May 16.

– An Audience with Andrew P. Sykes, author of ‘Cycling across Europe on a bike called Reggie’, at Ripon Cathedral on Friday, May 30.

– An Audience with Graeme Fife, playwright, broadcaster and writer of books such as ‘Legends of the Tour‘ and ‘Inside the Peleton – Winning and Losing the Tour de France’ at Ripon Cathedral on Friday, June 27.

For further details about the events, visit www.letourripon.co.uk