Saddle up for the Tour de Yorkshire

Date:21nd July 2014. (JH1004/58i) Pictured Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, at Buttertubs Pass between Hawes and Swaledale, one of the famous photographed landmarks of the Yorkshire Grand Depart, Tour de France.
Date:21nd July 2014. (JH1004/58i) Pictured Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, at Buttertubs Pass between Hawes and Swaledale, one of the famous photographed landmarks of the Yorkshire Grand Depart, Tour de France.

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 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.”