Around two months after hosting the “grandest of Grand Departs”, a team of Yorkshire delegates have jetted off to Holland to advise the Dutch on how to do the same next year.
Four senior officers from Leeds City Council, led by project manager Peter Smith, will spend today and tomorrow offering an insight on how to deliver a world class start to the Tour de France.
Le Tour will be given its send off in Holland for the sixth time in 2015, with Utrecht hosting two stages, including a time trial, on July 4 and 5 before stage three begins in Belgium on July 6.
This week’s visit is the latest in a series of meetings on either side of the North Sea aimed at helping Dutch Tour organisers live up to this year’s spectacle, which saw 2.5million people line Yorkshire’s two Tour routes.
A spokesman for Leeds City Council told the YEP: “The team will offer advice and insights on all elements of the event including project management, venue management and logistics.
“The invite from Utrecht continues the close working relationship which saw the Utrecht project leaders visit Leeds in December 2013 and again for the Grand Depart itself this July.”
Representatives from Yorkshire Tour bidders Welcome to Yorkshire were also invited to Holland this week, after being involved in meetings with counterparts for the last 18 months, but were unable to attend due to other appointments.
A spokesman from the tourism agency said: “Conversations will continue as Utrecht builds towards its Tour de France moment, so a legacy of hosting the Tour in Yorkshire is that the county will be aiding future hosts by imparting our knowledge from delivering the greatest Grand Depart in the 111-year history of the race.”
The county’s Tour send off capped a top summer of sport, which included the FIFA World Cup and Wimbledon. Billions watched on as the world’s best cyclists rode from Leeds to Harrogate on July 5, before the York to Sheffield stage the next day.