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Le Tour to put Yorkshire on the map
The full and exact details of the route the Yorkshire stages of the Tour de France next year were revealed at a press conference in Paris yesterday.
The first and second stages of the 101st edition of the world’s most famous bike race will pass through the district on July 5 and 6 next year.
On day one the route will start in Leeds and head out to Harewood before going through Arthington, Pool-in-Wharfedale, Otley town centre, through Ilkley, past Addingham, then on to Skipton, through the Yorkshire Dales all the way up to Reeth and back down to finish in Harrogate.
Day two will start in York and head out to Bolton Abbey before turning to go through Addingham village, then Silsden, Keighley and Haworth, before winding its way down to Sheffield.
Thousands will line the streets of Ilkley and Otley to witness the peloton zoom through. Businesses are likely to receive a huge boost due to the trade the Tour brings.
It is also hoped that TV footage of the area, including the Chevin and the Cow and Calf, aired across the world will bring even greater numbers of tourists to the district across the years.
The historic climb up Haworth’s iconic Main Street has been confirmed as one of the highlights of next year’s Tour de France route through the Bradford district.
Bradford Council leader Councillor David Green said: “People from all over the world will see just how splendid the countryside is around Ilkley, Keighley and Haworth when the tour travels through this area on both July 5 and July 6 next year.
“It is bound to raise our profile and entice visitors from near and far for many years to come.
“This really is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for people in and around Yorkshire to see the greatest annual sporting event up close and personal.”
Preliminary routes were announced earlier this year for the race, which will travel through 242 miles of Yorkshire’s countryside, towns and cities.
Ian Bairstow, the Council’s strategic director for environment and sport, said: “With an event of this scale, a large amount of advance planning is essential, and we have already been working for some months with our partners including the police, fire service, ambulance service, Metro, local hospitals, local businesses and tourist bodies, to ensure the event takes place as smoothly as possible.
“We are also providing guidance for people who want to set up temporary campsites or temporary car parks and people can visit our website bradford.gov.uk/tourdefrance to find out more.
“We are also holding talks and presentations to invite people to get more involved in this spectacular event.”
Ilkley Conservative MP Kris Hopkins said yesterday’s confirmation of the route was “magnificent news”.
“It truly is magnificent news that next year’s Tour will pass through Keighley, Ilkley, Silsden, Haworth and Oxenhope over the course of its two days in Yorkshire,” he said.
“Local preparations are already well under way to ensure that this probably once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to show off all that is best about our part of the world to a massive global television audience is grabbed with both hands.
“The economic benefits, through increased tourism and other related spend, are potentially hugely significant. And there are many other positives to be gained, including the chance for neighbouring communities to work together. It can also act as a catalyst to encourage local people – young and old – to get active.
“Exciting times most certainly lie ahead.”
On July 5, the racers will enter Skipton along Otley road, race along Newmarket Street, before travelling up Skipton High Street past the castle and turning on to Raikes Road, and leaving the town via Grassington Road.
Christian Prudhomme, director of Le Tour said: “I know the Grand Depart in Yorkshire will be visually stunning and technically challenging.”