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YORKSHIRE EARNS PRESTIGIOUS CYCLING ACCOLADE

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Yorkshire's reputation as a world-class cycling destination has been further enhanced today by becoming the first place in the UK to be officially recognised as a UCI Bike Region.

Yorkshire received the award from cycling's world governing body the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) at a glitzy ceremony in Bergen, Norway, where the UCI Road World Championships are currently taking place.

The county was one of five cities and regions to receive the accolade this year along with Fyn (Denmark), Gelderland (Holland), Heusden-Zolder (Belgium) and Woensdrecht (Holland).

Only eight places have been bestowed the honour so far since they were relaunched in 2015, with Bergen (Norway), Drenthe (Holland) and Limburg-Valkenburg (Holland) each receiving one in 2016.

The UCI grants UCI Bike City/Region status to locations that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to growing and promoting everyday cycling, as well as hosting major UCI cycling events.

Of course, Yorkshire fits that bill perfectly, with the county implementing multi-year cycling strategies across its 22 Local Authorities which target events, infrastructure, training, education and tourism.

Headline initiatives include the £35 million Cycle Superhighway which now links Leeds and Bradford, and the 46 Yorkshire Bank Bike Libraries that Welcome to Yorkshire has opened since 2014 where children can gain free access to bikes.

2019 will also see the UCI Road World Championships come to the county, with 12 races taking place over nine days and 1,000 of the best male and female riders from around 75 countries set to compete.

Tracey Crouch MP, Minister for Sport, said: "Yorkshire has deservedly won this recognition from the UCI. The honour is a testament to the hard work of all those involved in opening the region up to cyclists, and the lasting legacy from hosting the Tour de France Grand Départ in 2014 and the Tours de Yorkshire since.

"I know the people of Yorkshire will also get right behind the UCI World Road Championships in 2019 too that will further cement the county's strong links to cycling."

Brian Cookson, UCI President, said: "We are very pleased to expand our network of UCI Bike Cities and Regions and I would like to congratulate the five new recipients for the excellent work they carry out in their respective communities to develop cycling in all its forms. They are shining examples of what can be achieved.

"We look forward to promoting their ambitious projects and hope these will inspire other countries to develop bike-friendly environments for their communities and visitors."

Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: "We are thrilled that Yorkshire has been granted UCI Bike Region status and it is testament to the great work that has been done – and continues to be done – across the county.

"The UCI award these labels to cities and regions that promote cycling, and use it as a way to create better, safer and more active communities.

"In Yorkshire we are doing just that and it's tremendous news that our combined efforts are being recognised in such high quarters."

One million roadside fans watch epic 2017 Tour de Yorkshire finale

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A record one million fans turned out to watch the epic finale to the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire which saw Serge Pauwels claim the stage and overall victory.

Not since the 2014 Tour de France Grand Départ has Yorkshire experienced such a huge figure on a single day of racing, and that bumper crowd on Sunday helped ensure the third edition was officially the biggest one yet with overall attendances rising from 2 million to 2.2 million year on year.

Entire communities turned out on the roadside to witness the peloton pass though as they traversed the 194.5km route from Bradford to Fox Valley, Sheffield.

Each of the day’s eight categorised climbs were also packed with masses of cheering, colourful and enthusiastic fans. The parcours was also lined with incredible, eye-catching land art as pictures of Yorkshire were beamed to a record 180 countries globally.

Spectators were treated to exciting action as well with Pauwels breaking clear on the tough concluding loop and he was joined by Dimension Data team-mate Omar Fraile before the race concluded in Stocksbridge.

The duo then pressed home their advantage with Pauwels leading Fraile over the finish line to seal the biggest victory of his career and a 1-2 for his team who also topped the Doncaster Sheffield Airport and FlyBe Team Classification. Jonathan Hivert (Direct Énergie) rounded out the podium six seconds later.

Those same three riders also claimed the top three positions on the General Classification with Pauwels taking the blue leader’s jersey sponsored by Welcome to Yorkshire. Australian Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) won the Yorkshire Bank Points Classification, Dutchman Pieter Weening (Roompot–Nederlandse Loterij) sealed the Virgin Trains King of the Mountain prize, and fans on Twitter voted Dexter Gardias (Bike Channel Canyon) the Most Aggressive Rider sponsored by Dimension Data.

After the stage Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive Sir Gary Verity was glowing as he reflected on another hugely successful Tour, and reserved special praise for the tremendous Yorkshire public who made 2017 another record-breaking year.

He said: “The last three days have been utterly unforgettable. I realise I keep saying it, but I could not be prouder of this great county we call home. One million roadside fans on a single day is a truly phenomenal figure and there are barely any week-long races in the sport that can command 2.2 million spectators, let alone a three-day event like ours.

“When I drove the route today there were smiling faces everywhere I looked and ‘The Yorkshire Terrier’ more than lived up to its billing as a stage to remember.

“I’d like to congratulate Serge on a hard-fought victory, and thank all the riders, partners and public who made this the best edition of the Tour de Yorkshire yet.”

Stage and race winner Serge Pauwels said: “I’ve cycled all around the world and my favourite three crowds are for the Classics in Belgium, those in the Basque Country, and here in Yorkshire.

“The support today was incredible. Over the winter my team wanted me to take part in the Tour de Romandie to warm up for the Tour de France but I said no, I want to do the Tour of Yorkshire.

"I can’t believe I’ve won here. This is my first professional victory and I am a little surprised with myself because usually I prefer longer climbs. Today’s stage lent itself to a really explosive rider and there were no moments of respite.

“Today’s stage was comparable to Liège-Bastogne-Liège but with perhaps even more people on the roadside.”

 


 

Brief Stage Result

1 Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension Data 4:57:47

2 Omar Fraile (Spa) Dimension Data

3 Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Direct Energie 0:00:06

4 Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team

5 Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:08

6 Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Katusha-Alpecin

7 Matthew Holmes (GBr) Madison Genesis

8 Mark Christian (GBr) Aqua Blue Sport

9 Lennard Hofstede (Ned) Team Sunweb

10 Joey Rosskopf (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:23

 


 

Final Standings

1 Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension Data 11:53:04

2 Omar Fraile (Spa) Dimension Data 0:00:06

3 Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Direct Energie 0:00:07

4 Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:18

5 Matthew Holmes (GBr) Madison Genesis 0:00:20

6 Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Katusha-Alpecin

7 Mark Christian (GBr) Aqua Blue Sport

8 Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Team Sky

9 Lennard Hofstede (Ned) Team Sunweb

10 Joey Rosskopf (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:35

 


 

FULL RACE TIMINGS FOR 2017 TOUR DE YORKSHIRE

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Hundreds of metres of yellow and blue buntings have gone up, sculptures from Belgium displayed, food and drink fests prepped, flags on the ready and millions of spectators looking forward to lining the route for the Tour de Yorkshire this weekend.

The timings for three-day men’s race and one-day women’s race which run between 28-30 April have been calculated by anticipating the peloton’s average speed but are subject to change depending on variables such as wind speed, direction and how aggressively the riders race.

Timings for the newly expanded race caravan have also been included and list the stop off points where fans will be treated to a host of promotional goodies from the official race partners.

Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive Sir Gary Verity said: “It’s always exciting to share these timings as supporters can now plan exactly where and when they want to watch the action. Every time I see them I’m astonished by how quickly the peloton travels, but these are the very best riders in the world after all!

“Of course, there is a huge amount of added entertainment planned across the county over the full three days, and be sure to line the route early to see our colourful race caravan and fleet of Yorkshire cycling legends pass through.”

This is the third edition of the event, which was started to extend the legacy of the county hosting the 2014 Grand Depart for the Tour de France.

The full schedule and race timings can be viewed online now at http://letour.yorkshire.com/timings

 


 

Stage One: Friday 28 April – Bridlington to Scarborough, 173km (107.5 miles)

The Stage of the Coast and Wolds will begin at 12:35pm outside Bridlington Spa and the first intermediate sprint will be contested in Pocklington at 13:48pm before the peloton tackle the Côte de Garrowby Hill at 14:06pm. The next categorised climb comes on the Côte de Goathland at 15:42pm, and the race reaches the coastline again at Whitby for the second intermediate sprint point outside Whitby Abbey at 16:03pm. The Côte de Robin Hood’s Bay must then be ascended at 16:19pm before the now legendary finish along Scarborough’s North Bay at 17:00pm.

Stage Two and the Asda Women’s Tour de Yorkshire: Saturday 29 April – Tadcaster to Harrogate, 122.5km (76 miles)

The Asda Women’s Tour de Yorkshire kicks off an enticing double-header on Saturday with the world’s best female cyclists riding the exact same route as the men do on stage two. They get under way on the newly reopened Tadcaster Bridge at 09:15am and head to Knaresborough where the first intermediate sprint points are up for grabs at 09:53am. The riders continue on into the heart of Nidderdale where the brutish Côte de Lofthouse awaits them at 10:51am. Any contenders that fall behind there will be looking to get themselves back into the mix for the second sprint in Ripon at 11:38am and the pace is then unlikely to relent from then on until a frantic finale in Harrogate at 12:27pm.

Stage Two - Tadcaster to Harrogate Timings

The men meanwhile, will roll out of Tadcaster for the Stage of Historic Market Towns at 14:05pm and contest the Knaresborough sprint at 14:40pm. The Côte de Lofthouse must be overcome at 15:31pm before they reach Ripon for a second sprint at 16:13pm. The action will then culminate with a similarly fast finish in Harrogate at 16:56pm.

Stage Three: Sunday 30 April – Bradford to Fox Valley, Sheffield, 194.5km (120.9 miles)

The decisive stage of this year’s race – ominously titled The Yorkshire Terrier due to its punishing parcours – exits Bradford’s City Park at 12:10pm and takes a scenic trip to the Dales before heading back along the Aire Valley for the first of eight climbs on the Côte de Silsden at 14:04pm. The Côtes de Haworth and Leeming then follow in quick succession at 14:22pm and 14:32pm respectively before the peloton reaches the Côte de Shibden Wall. This cobbled beast will be crested at 14:54pm before an intermediate sprint takes place in Clifton at 15:09pm. There’s no respite as the race passes into South Yorkshire, and the final sprint points are up for grabs in Stocksbridge at 16:47pm before the weary riders tackle a gruelling 22km concluding loop featuring no less than four categorised climbs. The Côte de Deepcar is first up at 16:52pm and the Côtes de Wigtwizzle (16:58pm) and Ewden Height (17:01) come one after the other before one last drag up the Côte de Midhopestones at 17:07pm. Anyone left in contention after that will duke it out for the stage and overall victory in Fox Valley at 17:15pm.

 


 

 

 

Let’s Get Dangerous: The world’s top 15 riskiest sports

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Is watching badminton not doing it for you? Tiddlywinks a bit too tiddly? Does curling just not get your engine revved? Get your pads on, buckle up, and make sure you’ve got a parachute as we present you 15 of the world’s riskiest sports.

We’ve looked into some of the craziest, most death-defying sports in the world, from base-jumping off buildings to facing down the horns of a bull. Each has the number of deaths, locations it’s done, and important facts – as well as a risk factor, so you can find one just right for how deadly you want to go.

Some of the riskiest sports include the real-danger of high altitude mountaineering and surviving the environment, with 286 people dying climbing Everest alone; and off-piste skiing for thrill-seekers which causes over 100 deaths every year, and an uncharted number of injuries.




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Wheels in motion: A big year for cycling in Bradford

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It’s a big year for cycling in Bradford and to get this into gear, a Cycling Summit will take place at Bradford City Hall on Tuesday 17th January from 6.30pm to 9pm.

The summit organised by b-spoke and Active Bradford will showcase the launch of the updated Bradford Cycling Strategy, Stage Three of this year’s Tour de Yorkshire starting in Bradford’s City Park and the on-going major cycling infrastructure development including the City Connect Cycle Superhighway linking Bradford and Leeds.

Bradford Council and CityConnect are supporting the event and will be making some exciting announcements for 2017 which will confirm Bradford as a developing and ambitious centre for cycling.

John Dennis, from Active Bradford, said: “All are welcome to the summit which will be a gathering of everyone involved in every aspect of cycling in Bradford. This is an opportunity for people to share information, find out what’s happening and look ahead to some of the possibilities Bradford can aspire to.”

Coun Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Sport and Culture, said: “This looks like a great event which we are happy to be supporting. I’d encourage anyone who has an interest in any aspect of the sport to come along and find out what’s in store for Bradford in terms of cycling.”

All are welcome and details can be found at www.cyclebradford.org.uk and www.activebradford.com

The event is free and there will be secure valeted cycle parking outside City Hall courtesy of CityConnect. People are asked to register their attendance on www.eventbrite.co.uk search Bradford Cycle Summit.

Tour de Yorkshire brings the business

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RACE DAY: Riders from around the world once again turned out for the second annual Tour de Yorkshire race

RACE DAY: Riders from around the world once again turned out for the second annual Tour de Yorkshire race

Cycling race wheels in £50 million for the county

Two years on from the ‘grandest’ Grand Depart in Tour de France history and cyclists were once again seen powering their way through Yorkshire’s streets last weekend for the second annual Tour de Yorkshire.

The county - with its dramatic landscape of rolling hills and striking scenery – once again welcomed in some of the biggest names in cycling as over two million spectators braved the April showers to watch the race unfold.

According to Christian Prudhomme, the director of Tour de France, Yorkshire is ‘fast becoming the heartland of cycling’ and the race has now cemented itself as an annual event in the northern calendar.

Mr Prudhomme added: “The Tour de Yorkshire is on the podium for being one of the best bike races in the world and, for me, the best public for cycling in the world.”

Thomas Voeckler, from France, was the overall victor of the men’s race after beating Nicolas Roche from Ireland to the finish line.

Meanwhile in the women’s race, Lizzie Armistead was unable to clinch victory in her home-county, losing out to Dutchwoman Kirsten Wild after a bunch sprint in Doncaster.

CHAMPION: Frenchman Thomas Voeckler celebrates victory after the three-day race

CHAMPION: Frenchman Thomas Voeckler celebrates victory after the three-day race

As well promoting the sport of cycling, the yearly race has also had huge benefits for Yorkshire’s economy.

Marketing organisation, Welcome to Yorkshire, said the Tour de France generated more than £102 million for the region in 2014, while the 2015 Tour de Yorkshire brought in an impressive £50 million.

Local businessman and president of the Yorkshire Asian Business Association, Amjad Pervez, said: “Tour de Yorkshire is excellent for Yorkshire’s economy in terms of PR because each region has to compete to get recognition.

“From a macro point of view, it’s a sporting event that keeps people healthy and it showcases the wonderful countryside that we’ve got here.”

Amjad continued: “Yorkshire isn’t just about working; it’s about leisure, the countryside and a whole holistic way of living. As more people come to Yorkshire to watch the race, it means more footfall for local businesses.

“As for the actual route where the race falls, businesses are bound to benefit. I’m in favour of it, it’s an excellent project and we should do more events like it.”

LOCAL SUPPORT: Lizzie Armistead was unable to clinch victory in the ladies race but praised the event as a whole

LOCAL SUPPORT: Lizzie Armistead was unable to clinch victory in the ladies race but praised the event as a whole

Tour de Yorkshire route revealed

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POPULAR: Over one million people lined the streets to see the first Tour de Yorkshire earlier this year

POPULAR: Over one million people lined the streets to see the first Tour de Yorkshire earlier this year

Countdown begins to 2016 race

The Tour de Yorkshire returns to the county for a second time next year. Cycling fans have begun their countdowns to race day following the announcement of the official route this week.

Over three days, cyclists will travel across many of Yorkshire’s picturesque landscapes with millions expected to line the streets in support of some of the sport’s biggest names.

The first stage will set off from the Saturday Market in Beverley.

Riders will parade around the town – which also played host to the race in 2015 -  then through North Bar before heading North West to the Official Start at Beverley Racecourse.

Taking in the Wolds, Tadcaster and heading north past Wetherby into the Yorkshire Dales, the first day concludes with a 12km loop back to the A65 and round to Settle town centre for an expected sprint finish in the town.

Stage Two marks an important milestone for the Tour de Yorkshire, as the women’s race will be held on exactly the same route as the men’s race.  The women’s race will start in the morning and the men’s race will begin in the early afternoon.

The route begins in Otley, home town of current women’s Road World Champion Lizzie Armitstead, whilst the official start is at Pool-in-Wharfedale.

RACE: The race passes through some of the most picturesque landscapes in Yorkshire

RACE: The race passes through some of the most picturesque landscapes in Yorkshire

Passing Harewood, riders will head south past Pontefract before they finish in Doncaster, South Yorkshire.

The final stage will run from Middlesbrough down to Thirsk, on to Sutton Bank and over the moors to Whitby before finishing along Marine Drive in Scarborough.

Speaking at the route, Sir Gary Verity said: “For next year’s race we’ve selected routes which showcase Yorkshire’s stunning scenery and will also deliver an excellent sporting event.

“Our first race was phenomenally successful, bringing 1.5 million spectators to the roadside, generating over £50million for the regional economy and being broadcast around the world - not many races can say that.

“The stages we’ve revealed today are eagerly anticipated by fans, riders and teams and we have all the ingredients for another spectacular race which will bring the crowds back out.”

Christian Prudhomme, Tour de France’s director, also gave his backing to the return of the race.

“I am always happy to be back in Yorkshire and today marks an important milestone for the race,” he added.

“Feedback from the teams and riders last year was excellent.This year we have three stages which together create a race right to the end. The final King of the Mountain points are barely six kilometres from the final finish line.”

Sky Ride Bradford: 4,000 people turnout for city centre cycle

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ON YOUR MARKS: Lord Mayor of Bradford, Cllr Joanne Dodds, sets off on the 5km route alongside Naz Ali

ON YOUR MARKS: Lord Mayor of Bradford, Cllr Joanne Dodds, sets off on the 5km route alongside Naz Ali

Thousands of cyclists of all ages and abilities lined up alongside an Olympic Gold medallist in Bradford last weekend as two wheels proved better than four throughout the city’s streets.

British cycling legend, Jason Queally, was on hand to lead this year’s Sky Ride Bradford event, which once again resulted in the city turning yellow as families and friends cycled through traffic-free routes in their signature high-visibility vests.

The five kilometre route passed through some of the city’s most iconic landmarks including Little Germany and Bradford Cathedral, whilst a host of free activities and entertainment was available for people to join in.

BUSY: Over 4,000 people took to the streets of Bradford last weekend for the annual Sky Ride event

BUSY: Over 4,000 people took to the streets of Bradford last weekend for the annual Sky Ride event

Queally also took part in a Q&A session at The Hub in City Park after taking on a Halfords mechanic for the tyre pump challenge.

Tom Mutton, British Cycling Recreation Manager for Bradford said: “Once again, we’ve seen Bradford struck by the cycling bug.

“It’s been great to see so many people get together with their family and friends and take to the city’s streets on their bikes.

“The atmosphere has been electric and I hope that it will have inspired people to get out cycling more often.”

CHALLENGE: British Gold medallist, Jason Queally, competes in a tyre pump challenge

CHALLENGE: British Gold medallist, Jason Queally, competes in a tyre pump challenge

Elsewhere on the day, the ‘Tricks and Tunes’ area at the back of Bridge Street, proved extremely popular as youngsters got a taste of skills training and cycle racing with British Cycling’s Go-Ride programme.

Others meanwhile took their cycling to the extreme on the ever-popular air bag jump.

In total, 4,000 cyclists turned out to the annual event on Saturday 19th September, with the event set to return once again next year.

In the meantime, there are lots of Sky Ride Local and Breeze women-only guided rides planned for locals to take part in, as well as plenty of opportunities to ride together and discover more with Ride Social too – all of which is completely free.

The next and final Sky Ride big bike event is in Coventry on 27th September.

CYCLE: Families from across the local area headed down to the city centre to join in the Sky Ride event

CYCLE: Families from across the local area headed down to the city centre to join in the Sky Ride event

2313 in 2014 CONQUERED

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Naheem with medals

FINISHED: Naheem’s challenge has involved a number of runs up and down the country, with the Lancashire Half-Marathon last weekend signalling the end of his journey

Leeds fundraiser finishes UK to Syria challenge

After 365 days of exhaustive running and cycling, Naheem Yacub has finally completed his ‘2,313 miles in 2014’ challenge.

Setting himself the target of completing the distance, the equivalent of travelling from the UK to Syria, in aid of charity, the fundraiser from Leeds finally reached his target last weekend at the Lancashire half-marathon.

Battling through the final 13 miles, with his injured ankle, the part-time barber, part-time supply teacher, has run marathons, half-marathons, 10ks and even cycled the length of the country on his way to the goal.

Speaking about finally reaching his target after 12 months of continuous effort, Naheem said: “When I crossed the finish line there was just this huge sense of relief that it was all finally over. I just sat on the ground and couldn’t quite believe it.

“It is a bit strange on a morning now when I wake up and I don’t have to think, ‘it’s time to go on a run’, so I am enjoying that side of it.
“To know I was able to raise so much money and awareness from the initiative as well certainly makes it all worthwhile at the end of the day as it will help two very important causes.”

The two aforementioned causes chosen for the challenge are the Leeds Children’s Hospital and British Red Cross’ Syria Crisis Appeal with almost £5,000 raised to date to be shared between the pair.

Naheem had initially planned on completing the total distance on foot with only one leg of cycling – from Lands End to John O’Groats – on his way to the 2,313 target.

However, after injuring his ankle, he was forced onto the bike saddle more often towards the end of the challenge, but made sure he still completed his last leg in his running shoes.

“To have completed it all now and to have finished the final leg back in Lancashire where I first began the challenge in January 2014, just all seems so surreal,” he said.

“It was very painful on my ankle at times and I should have really gone to the doctors but I know they would have just said ‘rest it’ and I just didn’t have the time to do that. Maybe I do now.”

Asked whether he will be completing the return 2,313 miles any time soon, Naheem added that he was not sure that he had another year’s worth of dedicated running in the tank at the moment but is still fundraising over the next few weeks.

“We have a couple of bucket collections arranged for this month and I will be donating a full day’s takings from the barbers at the start of February,” he said. “Hopefully these extra funds will take us past our next milestone.”
He added: “I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has donated because it wouldn’t have been possible without them.”

If you would like to sponsor Naheem you can still do so by visiting his fundraising page at uk.virginmoneygiving.com.

ONE MONTH TO GO

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ON-YOUR-MARKS: Cyclists will get in the saddle for the first stage of the 2014 Tour de France on Saturday 5th July, starting their journey from the Headrow in Leeds, through to Harrogate

ON-YOUR-MARKS: Cyclists will get in the saddle for the first stage of the 2014 Tour de France on Saturday 5th July, starting their journey from the Headrow in Leeds, through to Harrogate

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.

BENEFICIAL: Amjad Pervez, President at The Yorkshire Asian Business Association hopes Yorkshire will unite as one and help make the Tour one to remember around the world

BENEFICIAL: Amjad Pervez, President at The Yorkshire Asian Business Association hopes Yorkshire will unite as one and help make the Tour one to remember around the world

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.

Christopher Froome of Britain, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, strains in the last meters of the eleventh stage of the Tour de France cycling race, an individual time trial over 33 kilometers (20.6 miles) with start in in Avranches and finish in Mont-Saint-Michel, western France, Wednesday July 10 2013. (AP Photo/Laurent Rebours)

Christopher Froome of Britain, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, strains in the last meters of the eleventh stage of the Tour de France cycling race, an individual time trial over 33 kilometers (20.6 miles) with start in in Avranches and finish in Mont-Saint-Michel, western France, Wednesday July 10 2013. (AP Photo/Laurent Rebours)

“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.”