York excitement over Tour de France Grand Depart 2014

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Photos: Jack Western

Christian Prudhomme and Gary Verity arrived at the York Sport Village today to celebrate the Grand Depart for next year’s Tour de France.

Prudhomme, General Director for the Tour de France, joined Verity, the Chief Director for Welcome to Yorkshire, as they promoted York’s appointment as the prestigious starting point for the Tour De France next year. They met and joined cyclists aged 6-18 at the Sport Village as they showed off their skills on the brand new cycling tracks built by the sport centre. They were also working in conjunction with York Sport Village and York City Council to promote the new cycling initiatives within the city.

It was announced on 17th January this year that York will be host to the 101st Tour de France Grand Depart, with the city beating both Florence and Edinburgh to the cut. An expected 3 billion people are expected to watch the Grand Depart on television, meaning a huge opportunity for the city of York.

Vision spoke exclusively to Prudhomme, who commented on the event saying “I am incredibly excited to be in this wonderful part of the world. It is my first time here, and after concluding this year’s outstanding Tour de France it gives me great pleasure to continue with plans for next year”. Prudhomme also mentioned his delight to have a British Grand Depart, saying “for the Grand Depart to be held in Britain after such a phenomenal British win this year is extremely poignant. It allows for the excitement of the competition to continue through a new generation, and keep the passion alive for this magnificent sport”.

Verity spoke about his delight at the occasion, saying that this is “simply the most incredible thing, to be able to enhance such a strong cycling city as York”. He also spoke fondly of the Bike Bank initiative being put forward by the York City Council. “The establishment of Bike Banks gives every single child in York access to a bike. Through the University of York website, families and students alike will be able to exchange bikes and continue to enforce the fantastic cycling culture we have in our city”.

Vision also spoke to Sarah Milton, the Business Development Manager for York Sport, about the exciting prospects this has in store for York in general. “We are extremely excited about the next couple years, about increasing student and community activity alike. We are entering an exciting new generation for cyclists with initiations such as the Bike Banks and the Boris Bike Scheme heading to York”.

The Bike Bank is inviting the public to donate unwanted cycles, and these machines will be serviced and made available to the community. The project is a joint venture between the University of York and the City of York Council supported by Welcome to Yorkshire. For more details, check the University of York website.