The announcement of the full Tour de France route for 2014 brings into focus the unique roles Yorkshire, Cambridge, London and British Cycling have to play in welcoming the world’s biggest bike race to the country next July.
"Not only will we have the world’s best riders competing on home soil, but the scale of opportunity for everybody to get on their bikes is fantastic."
British Cycling Recreation and Partnerships Director, Stewart Kellett.
Details of Yorkshire’s successful bid to be the host city of the Grand Depart were first announced in December 2012. The months since then have been spent planning and activating key plans to ensure that the race itself is a huge success; and that cyclists nationwide can experience the full impact of the Tour.
In comparison to the levels seen throughout 2013, British Cycling activity is set to increase in not only the regions that the route passes through, but nationwide - with more events in more locations than ever before.
Both experienced cyclists and those new to the sport will be inspired to get on their bikes through British Cycling’s Sky Ride programme where exciting rides will be put on for people of all ages and abilities. British Cycling is currently working up plans with Yorkshire local authorities, the associated authorities that are hosting a section of the route, as well as local authorities nationwide.
Similarly, young people will have the opportunity to experience cycling with a club in competitive races through the Go-Ride Tour. As British Cycling’s youth development programme, Go-Ride events will be open to any under 16s, with Go-Ride clubs across the country hosting racing events throughout the month of July.
Increasing activity in 2014 has been a key strategic achievement according to British Cycling’s Director of Recreation and Partnerships, Stewart Kellett.
He said: “Having the biggest bike race in the world come to England is great news for cycling fans nationwide.
“Not only will we have the world’s best riders competing on home soil, but the scale of opportunity for everybody to get on their bikes is fantastic.
“A lot of thought has gone into the legacy of having the Tour de France in this country, and I’m confident that we will be able to look back at 2014 as yet another major milestone on our way to becoming a true cycling nation.”
In Yorkshire, home of the Grand Depart, the expected increase for 2014 should build on the figures for 2013, which include:
- Across Yorkshire alone, over 29,000 people have taken part in a host of free cycling events this year as part of Sky Ride 2013, while a further 5,000 under 16s have experienced cycling for the first time through Go-Ride, which is British Cycling’s youth development programme.
- Similarly, 8,500 people of all ages and abilities took part in Leeds’ first ever Sky Ride, marking one year to go until the Grand Depart 2014. While a further 16,500 people enjoyed Sky Ride events in Bradford, Hull and York.
- A further 2,200 people have also attended 200 free weekly guided Sky Ride Local bike rides this summer. In Leeds, British Cycling trained Ride Leaders and volunteer Breeze champions delivered over 40 free, guided bike rides with close to 400 participants taking part so far.