Top cycling award for Yorkshire tourism chief

Gary Verity
Gary Verity

Yorkshire’s staging of the ‘grandest Grand Départ’ and its massive success has landed Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity a prestigious cycling award.

Mr Verity has been named as the winner of the 2014 C A Rhodes Memorial by the Yorkshire Cycling Federation.

The award trustees said: “His vision of bringing the Tour de France Grand Départ to Yorkshire and his drive and determination to lead his team to a successful execution have raised the profile of Yorkshire as a tourist

destination, as an area capable of hosting world class events and has massively increased participation in cycling.

“The visit by the Tour was an outstanding success, with vast crowds lining the routes of stage 1 through the Yorkshire Dales from Leeds to Harrogate and stage 2 from York to Sheffield via the West

Riding and gruelling Pennine climbs.

“Outstanding racing by the world’s top professional riders was on display and a worldwide audience of many millions saw “Gods Own County” at its finest.

“A legacy has been created for future major international bike races and there has been a huge increase in tourism.”

The memorial was instigated in 1961 as a tribute to the memory of Charles Arthur Rhodes, co-founder in 1932 of the Yorkshire Cycling Federation and a nationally recognised timekeeper and administrator.

The award is regarded as the greatest distinction Yorkshire Cycling can bestow.