SPORTS Minister Hugh Robertson insisted the organisers behind the Tour de France are on track to deliver a successful Grand Depart in Yorkshire next year as he looked to draw a line under a troubled summer for the event.
Questions have been raised over how policing costs will be met when the world famous cycle race spends two days in the region next July and the Yorkshire Post revealed last month that moves were underway to rebrand the Grand Depart as an all-England event at the expense of Yorkshire.
Mr Robertson yesterday met with officials from Welcome to Yorkshire, which secured the event for the region, and the chairman and chief executive of TdF 2014, the body that will run the Grand Depart.
Speaking afterwards he said: “I think the project is in a very good place indeed but I think everyone involved would recognise there’s a lot to do before July next year.
“You’ve got a balanced budget and a board with the necessary expertise to deliver a really first class event.”
He added: “The Tour de France is the most famous cycle race in the world and with Yorkshire hosting the Grand Départ next year it is a fantastic opportunity for the county to sell itself to an international audience as a great tourist destination.
“All the key partners are working hard to make sure we deliver a world class event, encourage even greater participation in cycling and give a boost to businesses across the region.”