A MASSIVE project has started to create ‘a river of yellow and blue’ when the Tour de Yorkshire comes to Bradford.

Bradford Council is urging knitters, stitchers, quilters and crafters to produce bunting and flags in the colours of the race to line the route.

Groups, schools, community organisations and companies – as well as individuals – are being encouraged to get involved.

It is also hoped textile and yarn firms will donate materials.

The international cycle race comes to the Bradford district for the final stage on Sunday, April 30.

It starts in City Park in Bradford and the route takes in Shipley, Saltaire, Ilkley, Addingham, Sildsen, Keighley, Cross Roads, Haworth, Oxenhope, Queensbury and Brighouse before the riders head south to the finish the 120-mile stage in Sheffield.

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, the Council’s executive member for environment, sport and culture, said: “There are some really talented and creative people out there and this is a great opportunity for everyone to get involved in the event, which will be shown on TV worldwide.

“When the Tour de France Grand Depart came through the district in 2014 and we put out a similar appeal we got a great response.

"We even had a woman from Australia sending us knitted bunting, so I’m sure many people will want to take part.

“We want to inspire anyone – whatever their craft, be it knitting, sewing, stitching or crocheting – to take part.

“Bradford district is built on the wool trade and famous for its textiles, so we are keen to bring this element to our celebration of this fantastic sporting spectacle.”

Her comments are echoed by Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire.

He said: “I’m always amazed by just how wonderfully creative the county is at celebrating the Tour de Yorkshire, from painted bikes and bunting to street parties and incredible land art.

“The riders tell us they keep coming back to the Tour de Yorkshire because they love the electric atmosphere as they come through each town and village.

“I know Bradford will pull out all the stops to celebrate the Tour and I can’t wait to see how fantastic the area looks on race weekend.”

For more details of how to get involved, e-mail saira.ali@bradford.gov.uk.

A search has also been started for volunteers to help at the race.

Businesses and the public are being given the chance to learn more about the Tour at a series of roadshows, being staged by Welcome to Yorkshire in conjunction with Bradford Council.

Remaining ones take place in Ilkley on Tuesday, February 28, in Saltaire on Wednesday, March 1, and in Keighley on Monday, March 6.

Advice will be offered to businesses and there will be details of road closures, an annual sportive and Welcome to Yorkshire’s various cycling legacy projects.

Anyone who wants to attend the roadshow is asked to register. Visit letour.yorkshire.com/2017/roadshows for more information.