‘Bring Tour de Yorkshire to Harrogate’

Tour de France Starbeck, Harrogate sun 6th july 2014'Fans art roadside
Tour de France Starbeck, Harrogate sun 6th july 2014'Fans art roadside

Harrogate is hoping to bring the Tour de Yorkshire to Harrogate next year, two years after the town hosted the Grand Depart.

Coun Cooper hopes that the recent Big Bike Bash event, combined with the success of the Tour in 2014 will stand the town in good stead as it bids to host a stage of the Tour de Yorkshire in 2016.

A council report shows that Harrogate Borough Council has bid to host a Tour de Yorkshire stage in 2016 as Cabinet members decided that not to would ‘miss an opportunity to boost the visitor economy in the district.’

Coun Cooper said: “We would like to host a stage finish, just like we did with the Tour de France.

“We have proved big style that we can host big events in the town succesfully. We can do these things, we should be shouting about it, we know we can pull these things off.”

In 2014 Harrogate hosted the finish of the first day of the Grand Depart in Yorkshire, pulling in crowds of 310,000 people.

Around 58 per cent of those who lined the streets of the district hoping to catch a glimpse of Cavendish and Froome were visitors from outside of the Harrogate area and the event brought a £19million boost to the town’s coffers.

Tour de Yorkshire organiser’s ASO (Amaury Sport Organisation) and Welcome to Yorkshire have remained tight-lipped over 2016 plans but have invited bids from towns and cities hoping to host a stage as they start to plan the route.

Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “Plans for the Tour de Yorkshire 2016 are of course well underway, and we are just reviewing the expressions of interest for starts and finishes at the moment.

“After the incredible success of the race’s inaugural edition, there was certainly no shortage of interest in hosting part of next year’s race, so watch this space for more details soon. Until then, though, it’s just a case of waiting!”

More on this story: Big Bike Bash bust the budget