Otley's pubs say Allez Le Tour!

Ilkley Gazette: Tony and Melanie Grey,  the landlord and landlady of The Junction Inn accepting their French banner. Left to right: Tony Greg, MP Greg Mulholland, Melanie Grey, and Otley Pub Club committee member Andrew McKeon. Tony and Melanie Grey, the landlord and landlady of The Junction Inn accepting their French banner. Left to right: Tony Greg, MP Greg Mulholland, Melanie Grey, and Otley Pub Club committee member Andrew McKeon.

All of Otley's pubs have 'gone French' to celebrate the imminent arrival of the world's most famous cycling race.

The 19 inns have each put up large banners displaying the French translation of their names ahead of the Tour de France coming through town on Saturday, July 5.

Organised by Otley Pub Club, the move follows previous similar publicity stunts that included local pubs re-naming themselves The Yorkshire Princess, in 2011, to celebrate the Royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Pub-goers will get a chance to polish up on their French over the next few weeks when they pop in to the likes of Le Cygne Blanc, Le Taureau Noir, or Le Vieux Coq - more usually known as The White Swan, The Black Bull and The

Old Cock.

Otley Pub Club president MP Greg Mulholland (Lib Dem, Leeds North West) said: "There is huge excitement in Otley about the world's greatest cycle race coming though town and large crowds are expected.

“Otley is a famous cycling and pub town and it is right that the pubs will be getting involved in this once in a lifetime event and sport their French names to say Bienvenue á Otley!

"I also hope the thousands of visitors will use the occasion to explore our pubs. Allez Le Tour, Allez Otley, Allez Les Pubs!"

Otley is the first town on the route of the Tour de France following Le Grand Depart from Leeds, and has a strong cycling tradition that includes hosting the annual town centre Otley Cycle Races, the Otley Sportive, and Otley Cycle

Fest. It is also, of course, the home town of Olympic medal winner Lizzie Armitstead.

Many of the inns will also be putting on French-themed entertainment, in the form of music, films, food and, of course, beer, to celebrate the Tour.

Pub club chairman Andy FitzGerald added: "We’d like to thank Otley Business Improvement District for its support for our project, which shows how Otley’s pubs can pull together to mark big occasions and help promote the town."

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