Cycling chiefs tour Yorkshire

Sir Gary and Christian Prudhomme at with school children at St John's Church. PIC: Scott Merrylees
Sir Gary and Christian Prudhomme at with school children at St John's Church. PIC: Scott Merrylees
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Yorkshire tourism chief Sir Gary Verity was joined by the director of the Tour de France to see some of the community projects taking place in support of this county’s counterpart race.

The Tour de Yorkshire (TdY) starts tomorrow, with West Yorkshire featuring in stage three on Sunday as racers rip through Bradford, Brighouse, Cleckheaton, Birstall and Mirfield.

Christian Prudhomme, head of co-organiser Amaury Sport Organisation, and Welcome to Yorkshire’s Sir Gary yesterday visited schoolchildren, churches, businesses and others flying the flag for the county.

Mr Prudhomme said: “Year after year, I’m even more impressed by the people of Yorkshire.

“It’s not only during three days, it’s during the months and months of preparation before the race that’s amazing. And people are happy to do that because they’re proud of Yorkshire.

The pair went to St John the Baptist Church in Pentistone where they were met with school children who had made a large race banner before supping a pint of TdY-themed beer at the Old Crown Inn. Another banner was unveiled at St Leonard’s Church in, Sheffield.

Children at Gladstone Road Primary School in Scarborough presented the pair with a huge TdY race jersey that will be placed near the stage one finish line, and caterers from the Yorkshire Coast College showed off a 4kg chocolate TdY trophy.

Sir Gary said: “It’s unbelievable, the way Yorkshire people take the Tour de Yorkshire to their heart and use it as a vehicle to express their Yorkshire-ness.”

Friday’s first stage includes three ‘King of the Mountain Climbs’ and Garrowby Hill, Goathland and Robin Hood’s Bay and two sprints: Pocklington and Whitby Abbey.

On Saturday, the mountain climb will take place in Lofthouse and the two sprints at Knaresborough and Ripon.

Finally, Sunday’s stage three has a mighty eight mountain climbs at Silsden, Haworth, Leeming, Shibden Wall, Deepcar, Wigtwizzle, Ewden Height and Midhopestones with the sprints at Brighouse and Stocksbridge. The stage has a total ascent of 3,517 metres. It finishes at the Fox Valley in Sheffield.