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Otley race organisers aim to boost Yorkshire's Tour de France bid
10:53am Thursday 14th June 2012 in Sport
The organisers of the Otley Cycle Races are looking to put on a stunning show on Wednesday to boost Yorkshire’s bid to host the Tour-de France.
Welcome to Yorkshire are striving to bring the world’s greatest cycle race to the county and are sending a team of officials to study how the Otley event is organised and presented.
Race organiser Giles Piddock said: “Yorkshire has a rich cycling tradition and is an ideal place to stage the Tour De France.
“A technical team from the race organising committee has already visited the county and were quite impressed with what they saw.
“The roads and the scenery make the Yorkshire Dales a great backdrop for the race and if we can play our part in selling Yorkshire’s bid then we are delighted to do so. I am sure that there would be tremendous support for the Tour de France if it came to Yorkshire.
“We expect to have around 4,000 people lining the streets on Wednesday and the atmosphere in the town will be electric.
“I understand that there will also be a petition for race fans to sign in support of staging the Tour de France.”
This year’s main event, the MAS Design Elite Race, doubles as the men’s National Circuit Race Championship and has attracted a strong field.
Piddock added: “British cycling is right at the top of the sport at the moment and our race gives people the chance to see many of the young professionals who are pushing to take the places of the established stars as they move on. A good number of them come from Yorkshire like last year’s winner Scott Thwaites from Burley-in-Wharfedale and Keighley’s Tom Moses. They are the future of the sport and they could possibly be racing in the Tour de France if it comes to Yorkshire.”
Once again the Sky TV cameras will be in Otley to record the action for a highlights programme as the riders do 22 laps of the testing 2.5km circuit.
Piddock added: “Many spectators watching for the first time are surprised by the speed the riders go.
“We encourage anybody who hasn’t seen the race before to come along. Where else can you watch top professional sportsmen for free?