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Leeds City Council to shift Tour de France bid up a gear

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Council chiefs are expected to give formal backing Leeds’s bid to host the Tour de France.

Members of Leeds City Council’s executive board will grant approval for the city to host the Grand Départ of the legendary race in 2016 when they meet next Wednesday.

Council leader Keith Wakefield said: “For Leeds to be able to host the start of the Tour de France would be incredible in terms of the global profile the city would receive from being a focal point for the world’s largest annual sporting event.

“The benefits would be enormous, not only in profile, tourism and financial terms, but in terms of a legacy of inspiring in particular young people to lead healthy lifestyles.”

Touism agency Welcome to Yorkshire is spearheading efforts to bring the Tour to Yorkshire.

Confirming Leeds’s intention to host the start of the race represents a key element of the bid, which has so far received more than 150,000 online pledges of support.

The council sees the bid as an ideal opportunity to exploit the unprecedented success enjoyed by British cycling this year.

Bradley Wiggins’ victory in this year’s Tour was followed by Olympic and Paralympic glory, including Otley road racer Lizzie Armitstead’s silver medal and gold and bronze for Rawdon’s David Stone.

 

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