After Tour will more people grab their bikes and come to Calderdale?

After Tour will more people grab their bikes and come to Calderdale?
After Tour will more people grab their bikes and come to Calderdale?

The Tour de Yorkshire brings the best from the world of cycling to the North for an event that attracts international attention. But when the race is over will more people get on their bikes and come to Calderdale?

Bike shop Blazing Saddles in the heart of Hebden Bridge is preparing for the Tour to come racing down the valley for the first time since the Tour de Yorkshire raced through three years ago.

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Gareth Vickers, sales assistant at Blazing Saddles and a keen cyclist, has hopes that the event will attract lots of cyclists to the area, as it did when it passed through last.

“When they’re coming through places like Hebden it’s such a big draw because we’ve got so much here: we’ve got the cycle way, we’ve got the longest continual ascent in England, we’ve got some big climbs," he said. "There’s so much around here that can be offered, it’s just people knowing about it and being able to access it.

“It’s a fantastic place to come and visit on a bike. Cyclists disappear off into the hills and the scenery around here is absolutely spectacular on a saddle and you can miss a lot of it sat in a car.

“I’d say it’s one of the best places in the UK for diverse cycling and also scenery and the ability to get out and not to be able to be hindered by main roads.”

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Anna Leatherbarrow from Blazing Saddles said: We've definitely seen a huge influx of new road riders going up the Cragg Road Hill climb that I hadn't seen before after the Tour de France so there were definitely more riders and more people thinking 'oh I could give that a go' and get into cycling.

"I think the road cycling industry must have improved and certainly there are more riders in the valley riding bikes."

This year the final stage of the Tour de Yorkshire will begin in Halifax for the first time. Riders will leave from the Piece Hall, take in a quick tour of the town and then cycle up towards King Cross before speeding down through the valley.

Gareth hopes that by people using it as a central point they'll be more likely to come back and bring their bikes.

Read: This year’s Tour de Yorkshire set to provide a genuine Piece of History...

He said: It will be a centralised place for people to come to. From that point of view there'll be a lot of people coming here who have never thought about coming because they will be wanting to see the start but from the point of view of will it make a difference from past events.

"I think we will get a lot more foreign tourists than there has been before and hopefully they will bring their bikes!"

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