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An army of volunteers for 2014 Tour de France in Leeds

Bradley Wiggins leads the Sky team during the final stage of the Tour in Paris this year. PIC: PA

Bradley Wiggins leads the Sky team during the final stage of the Tour in Paris this year. PIC: PA

An army of volunteers is being drafted in to staff the Tour de France’s Grand Départ when it comes to Yorkshire in 2014.

Welcome to Yorkshire is recruiting ‘Le Tour Makers’ to help welcome the world to the region during the opening stages of the world’s biggest cycling race.

The idea is inspired by the Games Makers who provided much of the manpower at the Olympics.

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.”

Leeds is to be the official host city and starting line for the event, it was confirmed last month after a hard-fought bid by the tourism organisation.

A festival of cycling and the arts will be held as the riders prepare to set off on their epic three-week journey to Paris on July 5.

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 have yet to be announced but the YEP understands York, Scarborough and Sheffield are to feature on the route, which is likely to include gruelling hill climbs in the Yorkshire Dales and across the North York Moors.

Around 70,000 Games Maker volunteers worked for a total of 8m hours at the Olympic Park last summer doing everything from welcoming visitors, checking tickets and stewarding events.

London Mayor Boris Johnson has since described them as “the beating heart of the Games” and Jean Tomlin, who was in charge of the Games Maker programme, was awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours list.

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 at: www.yorkshire.com/volunteer

 

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