Tour de France will bring ‘huge’ benefits to Wakefield

Tour director Christian Prudhomme, Sir Peter Ricketts (ambassador of GB and France) and Gary Verity (chief exec of Welcome to Yorkshire)

Tour director Christian Prudhomme, Sir Peter Ricketts (ambassador of GB and France) and Gary Verity (chief exec of Welcome to Yorkshire)

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WAKEFIELD is gearing up for the arrival of the Tour de France in Yorkshire, with council bosses promising a “huge” boost to the economy.

Yesterday the routes of the first two stages of the world’s greatest cycle race through Yorkshire were announced.

Tour de France route announced

Tour de France route announced

More than a million people are expected to line the route.

The race will start in Leeds on July 5, 2014, go through the Yorkshire Dales and finish in Harrogate.

The following day, riders will leave from York, head around Leeds to Huddersfield, and finish up in Sheffield.

Although the race will not come directly through Wakefield, council leader Coun Peter Box said it was a great opportunity to show off the city’s assets on a global scale.

He said: “The tour is the world’s biggest annual sporting event, so there’ll be thousands of people coming and the impact will be huge.

“We need to make sure that we work with businesses and other organisations to take advantage of the opportunities for the local economy.”

Coun Box said the council were looking to host a high-profile cycle race in the city to help create a lasting legacy from the arrival of the Tour.

He said: “We’ve already got some very keen cyclists in this district who would want to get involved.

“We’ll also be sitting down with schools and sporting organisations to get more young people involved in the sport.”

Christian Prudhomme, Tour de France director, said: “Yorkshire is a region of outstanding beauty, with breath-taking landscapes whose terrains offer both sprinters and attackers the opportunity to express themselves. We have encountered a phenomenal desire to welcome the Tour de France and no doubt that popular acclaim will be particularly in evidence over there.”