5,000 more people cycling in Yorkshire thanks to Grand Depart

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A year on from Yorkshire hosting the Grand Départ of the Tour de France, new research shows more people than ever are getting on their bikes in Yorkshire.

New statistics from British Cycling reveal almost 5,000 more people in Yorkshire are cycling at least once a week, compared to the period before the Tour de France came to Yorkshire.

Chris Froome at the start of of the first stage of the Tour de France in Leeds last year. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

Chris Froome at the start of of the first stage of the Tour de France in Leeds last year. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

For the same period nationally cycling participation has dropped by 50,000 people meaning Yorkshire is well and truly bucking the UK trend.

Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “To think it’s exactly a year since the world’s greatest bike race came to this county is scarcely believable but I’m extremely proud of the impact the Grand Départ has had on Yorkshire.

“You only have to look at Yorkshire’s roads to see more people have taken to cycling in the county and these new figures are confirmation of just how much Yorkshire wants to be the cycling of capital of Europe. The Grand Départ last year, and the Tour de Yorkshire this year, have proven to be just as inspirational as we hoped they would be.”

This Sunday marks exactly one year since the first stage of the 2014 Tour de France began in Leeds and the start of a weekend which saw more than 4 million people line Yorkshire’s roads to watch the very best cyclists take part in the world’s largest and toughest annual sporting event.

To mark the occasion a free-to-attend public celebration will be held at Leeds Town Hall on Sunday 5th July. It’s run by the Sporting Memories Foundation, a charity established to promote the use of sporting memories to improve the well-being of older people and people with dementia.

The Grand Départ in Yorkshire was the most northerly the Tour de France has ever been and spectators enjoyed two sun-drenched days of world-class bike racing between Leeds and Harrogate in Stage 1 and York and Sheffield in Stage 2.

An independent economic report found the Grand Départ generated £102million for the county over the weekend alone. With a legacy that includes a brand new international cycle race, The Tour de Yorkshire, and a bike library scheme backed by Yorkshire Bank, the Tour de France’s visit to Yorkshire in the summer of 2014 will live long in the county’s memory.

For more information on last year’s Grand Départ or on the Tour de Yorkshire 2016, visit www.letouryorkshire.com and for more information on the anniversary event at Leeds Town Hall, visit www.sportingmemoriesnetwork.com/tdf2014/