Why these volunteers are giving up their free time to make Tour de Yorkshire 2019 happen

Nicky Busby, Brian Slater and Rachel Moyes are tour makers for the 2019 Tour de Yorkshire
Nicky Busby, Brian Slater and Rachel Moyes are tour makers for the 2019 Tour de Yorkshire
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Ahead of Leeds' starring role in this year's Tour de Yorkshire, the YEP spoke to the volunteers to ask them why they are giving up their time to make the event work.

Cycling fever has taken over the county ever since the Tour de France visited Yorkshire in 2014, sparking the region's very own annual Tour de Yorkshire.

Nicky Busby is one of the tour makers at this year's Tour de Yorkshire.

Nicky Busby is one of the tour makers at this year's Tour de Yorkshire.

But it takes a lot of hard work and determination to keep that spirit alive and make sure everything runs smoothly and safely.

These five volunteers are known as 'tour makers' and they perform a range of roles to help the public and the cyclists make the most of the day.

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This can range from helping people with information about the event, keeping spectators and cyclists safe and making sure riders head in the right direction.

The volunteers explained why they've gone a step beyond to help make sure everyone else can enjoy the day.

Brian Slater is one of the tour makers at this year's Tour de Yorkshire.

Brian Slater is one of the tour makers at this year's Tour de Yorkshire.

Nicky Busby

Nicky Busby, 42, is a high school librarian from Garforth. She has been volunteering as a Tour Maker since 2014 when Yorkshire won the bid for the Tour de France.

The mother-of-one said: "I got involved as a volunteer because I love Yorkshire and I want to be part of this legacy. I still remember waiting in the town hall in Leeds as the snow fell on a cold December night waiting for the Tour De France routes to be announced. This was our opportunity to show off how wonderful our county is.

"In fact - when I watched the promotional clip it reduced me to tears. It showed off how beautiful Yorkshire is and I was literally crying as I was so proud.

Rachel Moyes is one of the tour makers at this year's Tour de Yorkshire.

Rachel Moyes is one of the tour makers at this year's Tour de Yorkshire.

"After that, I volunteered for the Tour de Yorkshire without hesitation. It shows off the county as it's best and has such a wow factor - we deserve to have all eyes on us! Not only it's beautiful countryside, but everyone comes together to throw parties, decorate the streets, put up bunting - there's such a huge buzz.

"It went through my hometown of Garforth last year and I was amazed at how many people came out and embraced it. It puts a smile on everyone's faces and every year it gets bigger and better. The race isn't just about the cycling, it's something much deeper that brings families and communities together."

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Rachel Moyes

Rachel Moyes, 46, is a baker from Bradford. Like Nicky, she began volunteering when she took part in the Tour de France and has since gotten a bug for volunteering.

Rachel Moyes is one of the tour makers at this year's Tour de Yorkshire.

Rachel Moyes is one of the tour makers at this year's Tour de Yorkshire.

She now volunteers for a number of sporting events including the Leeds World Triathlon, Grand Prix motorcycle racing and Formula 1 - where she met her partner, Christopher.

Mrs Moyes said: "Being a tour maker has changed my life. I applied to be a tour maker for the Tour de France with a group of co-workers but I never thought I'd be chosen.

"It was an amazing experience so when they asked me to do it for the Tour de Yorkshire it was an immediate yes. I love it so much I've done it every year since.

"A whole new world has opened up for me. It's not about the sport - I had a bike but I fell off so I don't touch that now!

"It's about the atmosphere and the people. I love being in the crowd and at the heart of the action. I have so much confidence now and I've found a whole new, big family through volunteering."

Brian Slater

Brian Slater, 72, is a retired purchasing manager from Temple Newsam. He has been working on the Tour de Yorkshire ever since it began in 2015.

The grandfather-of-three has done every volunteer role going including supervising the main finish line in Leeds last year which involved managing a team of 70 people.

Mr Slater said: "The whole operation is fantastic - both from the spectator side and from the camaraderie that has built up in the team of tour makers over the last four years.

"Many of them have become good friends and we are like a family now - always ready to step in and help each other out.

"Over the last four years, there have been so many highlights and problems to be solved. I could write a book!"

Chris Evans

Chris Evans, 66, is a retired bicycle recycle shop manager from Bradford. He has been a tour maker for 3 years.

He founded the Crack it Up Cycling Opportunities for All shop 10 years ago which sold and repaired recycled bikes so anyone could afford to buy a bike and get healthy.

Mr Evans said: "It's great to be part of such a big organisation and it is a lot of fun. We work hard to make the event what it is.

"I've never been a big cyclist even though I do this and ran a cycling shop - I'm actually a rugby man. But I love watching cycling and admire the riders. The perseverance they have is unbelievable.

"My granddaughter refused to finish learning to ride her bike but after she watched the Tour de France, she was off her stabilisers and zooming up and down within a week. That's the effect that cycling has."

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When does the Tour de Yorkshire 2019 start?

Stage one begins in Doncaster on Thursday, May 2, and runs 178.5km to a finish outside Selby Abbey, which in 2019 celebrates its 950th anniversary.

Friday sees the women’s two-day race begin with a 132km route into Bedale, with the men set to mirror that journey.

That stage includes the circuit into Harrogate which will be used at the UCI Road World Championships in Harrogate later that year.

Saturday sees cyclists ride from Bridlington to Scarborough before that potentially explosive final stage into Leeds on Sunday.