Tour de France: ‘It will put Calderdale on the worldwide map’

Allan Boult at Blazing Saddles, Hebden Bridge.
Allan Boult at Blazing Saddles, Hebden Bridge.
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Cycling enthusiasts and business chiefs across Calderdale are ecstatic at the news Le Tour is coming.

Reid Anderson, secretary of Calderdale CTC, said: “This is great news for Calderdale. Our countryside will make a superb setting for the world’s top riders to race through.”

Allan Boult, of Blazing Saddles in Hebden Bridge, said: “It’s tremendous. Welcome to Yorkshire have had a massive push on it and we’ve been getting people to sign a petition. It’s good to see that this is going through. It’s certainly nice to think we might have played a part in it. It’s a massive cherry on the cake. It’s a massive event - the world’s premier cycle race. It’s going to put Calderdale on the map worldwide.”

The last time the Tour visited England was in 2007 when it raced from London to Kent. About two million people turned out to the event in two days and it was estimated to have brought £88m to the south east economy.

Steven Leigh, head of policy at Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “It’s absolutely wonderful. This is great for the country and great for Calderdale. With that amount of people coming to the region, it’s going to be great for business and will put us on the map. Apart from the direct revenue of people coming, the pictures on the TV of the beautiful scenery of Calderdale can only do great things for tourism in the future.”

Coun Simon Young (Lab, Luddenden Foot) said: “I’m thrilled that Cragg Vale and Hebden Bridge will for part of Yorkshire leg of the Tour de France. This is amazing news for the Calder Valley, yet I must admit I didn’t doubt for a second, that we would be included. Cragg Vale boasts England’s longest continuous incline, reaching over 1000ft above sea level. The winding heather-clad route of Cragg Road will be a major challenge for cyclists rising 968 feet over 5.5 miles. But at least they get to enjoy some amazing scenery in the process.

“Who would have thought back in July, when Calder Valley was plagued by the terrible floods, that today we’d be celebrating being part of one the world’s biggest and best classic sporting events.”