International cycling royalty will descend on a Leeds park for a city-wide competition between primary school pupils in the build up to the July 5 and 6 Grand Depart from Yorkshire.
Five-time Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault will join Olympic gold medal-winning cyclist Chris Boardman, Tour director Christian Prudhomme and Welcome to Yorkshire’s Gary Verity to inspire the next generation of riders at the inaugural Leeds Schools Cycle Challenge at Temple Newsam Park on Tuesday.
Children from 50 primary schools and five Specialist Inclusive Learning Centres (SILC) across the city will take part in a series of races suitable for all ages, including a scooter and adapted cycle race.
Boardman, who won three stages of the Tour de France during his road racing career, will present race winners with their prizes alongside Leeds City Council leader Coun Keith Wakefield.
The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Coun David Congreve, said: “I am very much looking forward to seeing a fantastic competition between all these schools; I hope everyone has been training hard.
“It will be an amazing experience for these youngsters, especially having some fantastic cycling celebrities in the audience.”
Pupils will take part in a yellow endurance race, a green sprint time trial, a polka dot hillclimb, a white scooter race for younger children, a red scooter and assault course race and an adapted cycle race for SILC pupils.
As part of the event schools were allocated Tour de France 2014 riders as team mascots in a bid to motivate them to learn more about the sport, its riders and the Tour’s history.
Lucky pupils at Gildersome Primary School will be presented with a signed jersey donated by their mascot and Tour rider Alejandro Valverde at the event.