AN OFFICIAL bid to bring the Tour de France through Bridlington in 2016 was submitted to event organisers last week.
The bid, led by tourism agency Welcome to Yorkshire and local councils, was unveiled last week and has been lent the support of sprinter Mark Cavendish and Team Sky teammate Ben Swift.
Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “Some may see us as outsiders but we think Yorkshire has a lot to offer, not just our stunning scenery but the passion of our people and the expertise we have in hosting world class sporting events.
“We already have the support of two of Great Britain’s most exciting riders and we believe Yorkshire can provide the perfect backdrop to the world’s greatest cycle race.”
Bridlington forms part of the coastal section of the proposed route, coming from the north, through the town and on towards Hull, though organisers, ASO, still have to visit Yorkshire in May to decide whether the submitted route is suitable.
If successful, our county would benefit to the tune of tens of millions of pounds of extra visitor spending and be the focus of a worldwide television audience of over two billion people.
Over 185 countries around the world show the Tour de France every year on 92 different television channels with the last hour of every stage broadcast live across Western Europe.
Steve Waterall from Bridlington Cycling Club said: “It’s good news that Bridlington has been included in this proposal, there are some nice quiet roads close to the town, with easy and more challenging routes close by.
“I have noticed a lot more people riding push bikes around the town and more people running, particularly on the seafront, and with the Olympic torch coming and potentially the Tour de France, it can only be good news for sport in Bridlington.”
Several other bids to host the initial stage of the Tour de France have been submitted to organisers, ranging from Scotland to Berlin, though the date of the final decision has yet to be announced.
Mark Cavendish, who is supporting the Yorkshire bid, said: “My mum is from Yorkshire so I’m proud to be backing the Yorkshire 2016 bid. The county would provide a stunning backdrop to the Tour as well as a real test for the competitors.
“I have fond memories of holidaying in Yorkshire, a lot of my family still live there and it would be fantastic if the world’s greatest cycle race could come to the county.”
The last time Bridlington played host to a major cycling event was in 2008 when crowds lined the street to see stars such as Bradley Wiggins and Geraint Thomas passing through the town during the Tour of Britain.
As part of Yorkshire’s bid, Welcome to Yorkshire has launched a campaign to get the public behind the official submission called ‘Back le Bid’ which is available at www.yorkshire.com/lebid