The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry will join delegates for the ceremonial start of the 101st Tour de France at Harewood House, near Leeds, as a global TV audience of billions watches on tomorrow.
Around 20,000 people are expected to attend the Dare 2b Yorkshire Festival of Cycling, which is being supported by the YEP, on the estate’s grounds this weekend, and excitement was building as it opened today.
It will feature a Red Arrows flypast during tomorrow’s Leeds to Harrogate stage one race as well as a range of sporting and family entertainment including an outdoors shopping expo, cycling cinema, live music and big screens.
Oli Broom, marketing manager for the festival, said: “We’re extremely pleased with how the weekend is progressing. We’ve got a wide range of exhibitors and entertainment lined up that’s really going to wow the crowds. We’re also really looking forward to welcoming the Tour de France and hosting the ceremonial start in front of Harewood House with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.”
Among dozens of stalls at the festival is the Isle of Man Post Office, which is offering special 50p pieces that depict Mark Cavendish, who was born on the island.
Maxine Cannon, general manager of Isle of Man Stamps and Coins, said: “We are just delighted that Mark is a wonderful ambassador for the Isle of Man, Team GB and cycling worldwide.”
Royal Mail is also marking Le Tour by issuing mail across the UK tomorrow bearing a special ‘Yorkshire Grand Depart, Tour de France, 2014’ postmark.
Fans can visit Harewood for free tomorrow from 5am to watch Le Tour roll through at around 12noon, while festival entry is £18 per person for the day. Visit www.festivalofcycling.org.