On the eve of one of the biggest cycling races in Britain, preparations are now under way to ensure this year’s Tour de Yorkshire event sparkles across the region.
To celebrate the Tour de Yorkshire’s city centre return, Trinity Leeds has now unveiled a 31-metre-wide yellow bicycle sprawled along the shopping centre’s glass dome-style roof in a throwback to the Tour de France.
It was revealed by Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of the Welcome to Yorkshire tourism organisation, which arranges the Tour de Yorkshire race, and Christian Prudhomme, general director of the Tour de France.
“It really is inspiring to see the huge efforts people are going to get into the spirit of the Tour de Yorkshire – and talking of huge efforts, this yellow bike is enormous,” he said. “The race is a fantastic way to showcase Yorkshire across the world – and now we can showcase our magnificent county out of this world too, as incredibly, the bike could even be seen from space.”
The 80-piece jigsaw vinyl was installed by abseilers and created by Halifax firm Sand in Your Eye. Riders will set off on the first stage from Beverley to Doncaster tomorrow as the legacy race begins.
And in four days, cycling’s elite peloton will once again thunder through Leeds city centre for the first time since the 2014 Grand Depart, as it hosts the closing stage of the now-annual race.
Meanwhile, a free Eve of Tour celebration will be held in Leeds’s Millennium Square tonight, where visitors will hear from cycling star Mark Cavendish and the 60-strong West Yorkshire Rock Choir from 6pm.
Elsewhere, communities lining the race route in Yorkshire are now preparing for its arrival.
Sir Gary and race organisers visited Pateley Bridge’s High Street yesterday, where businesses have been decorated with bicycles. In Ledston, where cyclists will speed along the A656 connecting Leeds to Castleford, Lady Elizabeth Hastings CofE Primary School pupils have created a 50-metre-wide banner.