Red Arrows flypast at Tour event

Red Arrows over Calderdale. Picture by Ryan Williams
Red Arrows over Calderdale. Picture by Ryan Williams
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The Red Arrows will jet through Yorkshire to mark the ceremonial start of the Tour de France.

The fighter pilots will conduct a trademark red, white and blue flypast as the world’s greatest cyclists lineup on the drive outside Harewood House where the timed Leeds to Harrogate stage officially starts on July 5.

Having performed at great occasions including the 2012 London Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the Red Arrows’ flypast will also prove a highlight of the Dare 2b Yorkshire Festival of Cycling hosted at the estate from July 4 to 6.

With high profile guests including Otley-born Olympic silver medal-winning cyclist Lizzie Armitstead and Tour de France winners Oscar Pereiro and Stephen Roche, the festival will feature camping, cycle rides and entertainment.

Christopher Newton, director of Harewood Events Ltd, said: “I’m delighted that we can bring this truly British sight to the Tour. Everyone is really excited for July to roll round and the Tour coming to Yorkshire for the first time has presented a chance to put a British stamp on proceedings.”

Guests at Harewood will also be treated to a Battle of Britain memorial flight including a Spitfire, Hurricane, Dakota and Lancaster when Le Tour rolls from York to Sheffield on July 6.

The marching Band of The Corps of Royal Engineers will also perform several sets within the grounds over the weekend, while the Army and RAF will take over two acres of the festival site with a range of activities, including an assault course, speed-shot football, a bungee run and military vehicle displays.

The event will also feature a cycling cinema, shopping expo, live music, big screens, duathlons, trail runs and cycling time trials with lead times set by Leeds’ Olympic triathletes Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee.

Event ambassador Lizzie Armitstead said: “Harewood House is a fantastic setting to bring everyone together to celebrate.”

The festival will also display the rest of the Grand Depart as well as the FIFA World Cup quarter finals, the British Grand Prix and Wimbledon on big screens.

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