Le Tour Yorkshire chief Gary Verity in 100mile Cycle to Work Day pledge

Gary Verity leads his peleton on a tour of the stage one Grand Depart route at Addingham. Picture by Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com.
Gary Verity leads his peleton on a tour of the stage one Grand Depart route at Addingham. Picture by Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com.
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Yorkshire’s Tour de France bid leader has pledged to take Cycle to Work Day to the next level by pedalling over 100miles to his office today.

Gary Verity, chief executive of tourism agency Welcome to Yorkshire, will ride from his home in Coverdale, North Yorkshire, to the agency’s headquarters at Holbeck Urban Village to mark the national event.

Welcome to Yorkshire staff have pledged to match the Le Tour de Yorkshire chief by collectively riding 100miles to work as tens of thousands of people saddle up for their daily commute on Cycle to Work Day.

Last year’s event saw more than 20,000 people cycle to work, covering more than 250,000miles between them.

Mr Verity, who lost 3st by training to cycle the Leeds to Harrogate Grand Depart stage one this year, said: “When we won the right to host the Tour de France we did so with a pledge that it would mark a sea change in cycling habits in Yorkshire. This is just the start for us as a cycling county.”

He added: “Cycle to Work Day is a great way to either kick start cycling as a habit or a hobby and get more people in the county cycling more often.”

He feels the event, championed by Paralympic gold medallist Dame Sarah Storey, matches up with the Grand Depart’s regional Cycle Yorkshire legacy scheme after Le Tour inspired many to invest in two wheels.

Cycle Yorkshire, backed by cycling organisations including CTC and British Cycling, has the backing of all the region’s local authorities and hopes to ensure everyone in the county has access to a bicycle by 2023.

Kersten England, chief executive of City of York Council and Cycle Yorkshire chair, said: “Cycle to Work Day is a great initiative to encourage people to try out their commute to work and see this as a viable alternative to their usual mode of travel more often. Many people have been inspired to cycle, and cycle more often, this summer thanks in no small part to Yorkshire hosting the grandest of Grand Departs this July.”

An estimated 2.5million people lined the Leeds to Harrogate stage one and York to Sheffield stage two routes of the Grand Depart on July 5 and 6, sparking hopes of a cycling boost in Yorkshire.

Visit www.cycleyorkshire.com for information.

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