Sad­dle up for the Tour de York­shire

Halifax Courier - - Yourcourier - By Tom Scargill

York­shire’s tourism chief would like to see Hal­i­fax stage the start of a fu­ture Tour de York­shire as the count­down to the in­au­gu­ral race con­tin­ues. An all-star cast has as­sem­bled for the race, in­clud­ing Sir Bradley Wig­gins, Ben Swift and Mar­cel Kittel.

The third stage of the race comes through Calderdale on Sun­day, May 3 when it will pass through Cragg Vale and Rip­pon­den.

The Tour de York­shire will be an an­nual event and or­gan­is­ers hope it will grow year on year to be one of the big­gest events in the cy­cling cal­en­dar and po­si­tion York­shire as the heart­land of cy­cling in Europe.

Gary Ver­ity, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Wel­come to York­shire, be­lieves Hal­i­fax can play a prom­i­nent role in fu­ture ver­sions, in­clud­ing host­ing a stage.

“I hope so,” he said. “What would be great would be to have a start or fin­ish in Hal­i­fax in fu­ture - it would be a fan­tas­tic set­ting as a start for a stage.

“Some­where like the Piece Hall would be a great place to start a stage one year.”

Mr Ver­ity en­cour­aged the Hal­i­fax public to em­brace the event as they did for last sum­mer’s Tour de France.

“I’m sure there will be a lot of sup­port in Hal­i­fax.

“My mes­sage to peo­ple there would be em­brace it, get the bunting out, get the flags out and get the bikes out.

“It will prob­a­bly be Bradley Wig­gins’ last time rid­ing on York­shire’s roads in a pro­fes­sional race.

“So if you want to see one of the great­est Bri­tish sport­ing icons of all time this is your chance.”

Mr Ver­ity ad­mit­ted the eco­nomic im­pact on the re­gion won’t be as big as last year’s Grand De­part.

“The eco­nomic benefits won’t be a big but they will be sig­nif­i­cant,” he added.

“There should be about one third of the ben­e­fit to York­shire and we an­tic­i­pate one mil­lion peo­ple will watch it on the route over the three days.”

Gary Ver­ity, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Wel­come to York­shire

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