The Tour de Yorkshire is coming to Wakefield.
After missing out on having the Tour De France passing through the district this summer, the city has been chosen to stage either a start or a finish for next year’s cycle race.
It is one of six Yorkshire towns or cities that will welcome the inaugural race during the May bank holiday weekend.
Wakefield Council leader Peter Box said: “Last year’s Yorkshire Grand Départ of the Tour de France was hugely successful, both as a sporting event and in raising the profile of the region. ”
This week’s announcement, made by Welcome to Yorkshire (WTY) and race organisers ASO, has also delighted cycling groups.
Sandy Clark, the president of Wakefield District Cycle Forum, said: “We have seen a huge increase in the number of people who come to our events and guided cycle events. I think the numbers of them doubled from the period of the Olympics success to the Tour arriving.”
The route has yet to be decided and will be announced early next year. But speculation to the exact route has already begun.
Richard Hancock, of Calder Clarion cycling club, believes the route will hinge on whether Wakefield gets a start or a finish.
He thinks the backdrop of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park or Nostell Priory would make for great starts. And that riding along Denby Dale Road into the city centre past The Hepworth would make a great finish line.
Mr Hancock said: “If you look at the money brought in by the Tour De France, the whole thing was a great advert for Yorkshire. There will be plenty of coverage and probably lots of people coming in to ride lots of iconic Yorkshire roads.”
Christian Prudhomme, the Tour de France boss at ASO, said he was delighted to be returning to the county.
He said: “Yorkshire is where we saw the grandest ever Grand Départ for the Tour de France. It is clear the people of Yorkshire are passionate about cycling and we can’t wait to bring them this new race.”
And Gary Verity, chief executive of WTY, said: “This is another huge milestone for Yorkshire as we position the county as the cycling heartland of Europe. This is the first ever Tour de Yorkshire, I am confident it will become a huge annual event and something that will raise Yorkshire’s profile.”
The inaugural race will take place between May 1-3, 2015.
Bridlington, Leeds, Scarborough, Selby, Wakefield and York will all host a start or finish. It will feature many parts left untouched by the Tour de France .
The event will feature top international teams and cycling stars.
It will be broadcast live on national TV and throughout Europe.
The full route will be announced on January 21 .