Video: Thousands of Tour Makers begin training ahead of Grand Depart

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Thousands of Tour Maker volunteer route marshals, flag marshals, wayfinders, crossing marshals and supervisors have descended on Elland Road to pick up uniforms and learn about their roles as they bid to make the Tour de France Grand Depart on July 5, 6 and 7 a similar triumph.

They have collected blue polo shirts, green jackets, black trousers, baseball caps, bags and water bottles – all designed by Asda – as they prepare to be advice points to the millions of fans expected to descend on Yorkshire and southern England for the cycling spectacle.

Tour Makers form a 'Y' in the East Stand after the first session of role training and uniform collection at Elland Road stadium, in Leeds. Picture Bruce Rollinson

Tour Makers form a 'Y' in the East Stand after the first session of role training and uniform collection at Elland Road stadium, in Leeds. Picture Bruce Rollinson

The world’s largest annual sporting event will role into action from Leeds’ Headrow on its way to Harrogate for stage one of the race on July 5, before the York to Sheffield stage two the following day and the July 7 Cambridge to London ride.

Becky Clarke, from Bingley, is among the Tour Makers to visit Elland Road today. She said: “Now we’ve got our uniforms it all seems so real so roll on July 5 – I’m so excited.

“I can’t wait to just jump right in and actually get started, and to say I’ll be part of the Tour coming to Yorkshire is just incredible.”

Tour Makers are being managed by TDFHUB2014Ltd, the Government company set up by UK Sport to co-ordinate planning for the Grand Depart stages, and are being given specialist training by Asda.

Richard Mason, Asda’s Tour Maker project manager, said: “We’re so proud of the volunteers and the enthusiasm that they have demonstrated during the Tour Maker programme.

“As a company with strong Yorkshire roots, we wanted to help make this volunteering opportunity happen and we were delighted to share our expertise in the areas of recruitment and clothing.”

The Elland Road event comes after around 5,000 volunteers were given an introduction to the Tour Maker programme at Leeds First Direct Arena last month.

Olympic gold medal-winning boxer Nicola Adams joined Brian Robinson, the first Briton to win a stage of Le Tour in 1958, and Grand Depart figures Gary Verity and Nicky Roche in giving motivational speeches to the crowd.

Gary Verity, chief executive of Tour bid-leading tourism firm Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “We’ve been blown away by the passion and dedication the Tour Makers have shown already.

“Now there’s a real sense of excitement building among them as they complete their training, get their uniforms and prepare for an experience they’ll never forget.”

Over the three stages Tour Makers will welcome visitors at key locations and transport hubs, and help the thousands of spectators along the route enjoy the event.

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