Volunteers sought for Tour De France’s Yorkshire start

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire.

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire.

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A RECRUITMENT drive is underway to draft in an army of volunteers to staff the Tour de France’s Grand Depart when it comes to the region next year.

As previously reported, the county beat worldwide competition to bring the opening stages of the world’s largest sporting event to Yorkshire in 2014, and while the exact route has not yet been confirmed it is hoped that it could pass close to Bridlington.

Now hot on the heels of the Olympics Games Makers, Welcome to Yorkshire is emulating the concept by recruiting ‘Le Tour Makers’ to staff the opening stages as the world turns its attentions to the county.

Gary Verity chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire said: “The Games Makers were a huge success in London 2012 so we are looking to emulate and build on that when the eyes of the world are on Yorkshire in 2014.

“We are looking for a team of passionate volunteers who will help us to create the best ever Grand Départ in the history of the Tour de France.”

Bridlington played its part in supplying Games Makers for last summer’s London Olympic and Paralympic Games, with people from the area joining the 70,000 strong team of volunteers who worked for a total of 8million hours at the Olympic Park.

The county will host the first two days racing on July 5 and 6, starting in Leeds which is to be the official host city, before the Tour moves south for a third stage in southern England with a London finish.

Hosting the first two stages of the race is expected to generate more than £100m for the region’s economy – and attract over a million spectators.

Full details are yet to be announced but it is understood that York, Scarborough and Sheffield will feature on the route, which is likely to feature the Yorkshire Dales and North Yorkshire Moors.

Speaking to the Free Press earlier this year, a spokesperson for Welcome To Yorkshire said a number of routes had been proposed to Tour de France organisers, confirming that “they do pass close to Bridlington”.

More details about the Grand Départ are to be announced on Thursday, January 17.

Anyone interested in becoming a Le Tour Maker can register their interest online at www.yorkshire.com/volunteer.