Ever since it was announced, in December 2012, that Yorkshire had won the rights to host the opening stages of the 2014 Tour de France, the cycling buzz across the region has sky-rocketed.
Fast forward one-and-a-half years to the present day and we are now just one month away from welcoming the biggest cycling race in the world to the White Rose county.
The world’s top competitors will pull up in Leeds for the Grand Depart on Saturday 5th July, with thousands of fans from across the world expected to fly in and show their support for their favourite athletes.
Yorkshire’s residents, businesses and governing bodies have been getting in the spirit over the past 18 months, and are all likely to benefit from a boom in tourism next month.
Stage One will see competitors cycle the 190km route from Leeds to Harrogate, before a 201km challenge will be undertaken from York to Sheffield on Sunday 6th July.
The benefits for the region’s communities are plentiful with businesses hoping to capitalise on the increased footfall.
Amjad Pervez, President at The Yorkshire Asian Business Association, says he can’t wait for the Tour to arrive and looks forward to seeing Yorkshire’s winning spirit televised on a global scale.
“It is something which we seem to have been waiting forever to come around and it will bring huge benefits to the area,” he said.
“We keep talking about this north-south divide with London being known for culture and sport, such as the 2012 Olympics. Now, here is an opportunity for Yorkshire to welcome an internationally renowned sporting event and I can’t wait.
“The hard work has already been done by the team who attracted the Tour to Yorkshire and the county’s brand has grown in a way that cannot be bought. Millions of pounds have been invested into the Yorkshire brand because of PR and that is only going to bring positive results.”
Mr Pervez says he will be attending the race with colleagues and his grandchildren and hopes to see Yorkshire’s communities unite for a celebration of sport.
“Everybody from businesses, citizens and the city’s governing bodies should be taking advantage of the Tour,” he said.
“If you and your friends can make it out on the day and help increase the size of the crowd, it would help show our passion for the sport as pictures are beamed across the world.
“We need to show the world that we are cultured in Yorkshire and passionate about more than just Yorkshire puddings. We need to get out there and get connected to the wider world, whether it be on an individual, social or economic scale.”
He added: “It is not too late for businesses to still get involved. Just visit the Welcome to Yorkshire website and find the best way to get your company benefitting from the Tour.”
The team presentation ceremony will commence on Thursday 3rd July at Leeds’ First Direct Arena before pedal power is put into full force at the Grand Depart from 11am on the Headrow.
Show your support for Yorkshire and the Tour by getting involved and helping to make the event a truly Yorkshire affair which the world will remember.
“It is something which we seem to have been waiting forever to come around and it will bring huge benefits to the area.”