Newly knighted Sir Gary Verity says it is a ‘question of when not if’ for the Tour de France returning to Yorkshire

Sir Gary Verity received his knighthood at Buckingham Palace and pledged to bring the Tour de France back to Yorkshire.

Thursday, 10th December 2015, 3:14 pm
Sir Gary Verity holds his insignia of Knighthood which was presented by the Prince of Wales at the Investiture ceremony in Buckingham Palace, London.

The Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive and the man responsible for bringing the tour to Yorkshire said his knighthood for services to tourism was a triumph not just for him but for the county.

Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome To Yorkshire, said: “This is Yorkshire’s knighthood and it’s for everyone who works in tourism, the arts sector and the thousands of people involved in Tour De France.

“It was unbelievable how the county got behind the event - I have never known anything like it. The event brought people immense pride and I hope this reminds them and does the same.”

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Sir Gary Verity - PA Wire

Asked what he considered the best things about Yorkshire, he said: “I could tell you 10,000 things.

“Firstly, our topography is absolutely stunning, with our moors, vales and amazing countryside.

“Also our innovation over the years - from Captain Cook to Helen Sharman, the first Brit in space.

“Then sport - we have produced so many champions, there’s just something in our blood.

“Our food is amazing. We have more Michelin-star restaurants and breweries than anywhere else in the country.

“But mostly it’s the people of Yorkshire. What you see is what you get. You get authenticity and integrity with people from Yorkshire.

“Put all that together and you get something very special that I don’t think exists in any other place.”

Sir Gary revealed that he spoke to Tour De France director Christian Prudhomme on the phone on Wednesday about bringing the event back to Yorkshire, adding: “It’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when.

“The actual when is down to him but I’d love it as soon as possible.

“I said ‘Let’s start it in Yorkshire every year’.”