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Ryedale’s hopes for Tour de France visit dashed
2:25pm Wednesday 23rd January 2013 in News
HOPES that the one of the world’s biggest sporting events would come to Ryedale next year may have been dashed – but feelings remain positive that the region will still benefit.
Plans for the opening stages of the Tour de France 2014 were announced last Thursday, with organisers confirming the route across Yorkshire on July 5 and 6.
However, although 98 per cent of the county’s population will be within one hour of the route, the North York Moors, Ryedale, the Yorkshire coast and most of the Vale of York have been left out.
Mike Hawtin, who is a cycling development officer at Dalby Bike Barn with the National Cycling Charity CTC, said that, like many businesses in the area, they were initially disappointed to hear that the Tour de France would not be coming the area.
“We had high hopes that the best riders in the world would get to experience the stunning scenery of the North York Moors, the picturesque and already-famous cycling venue of Dalby Forest, then even a dramatic sea front finish on the east coast as many rumours had suggested,” he said.
“Clearly this wasn’t to be and considering other needs, it’s easy to understand why the route was chosen, especially as it will pass the greater population densities of West and South Yorkshire on the second day.”
Mike said that everyone needed to remember that the area has an amazing cycling heritage and there are plenty of opportunities for riders in the region to get involved.
“First of all, they can sign up to be a marshall or Tour maker as there will be no better way to experience the thrills of the stages in all their glory,” he said.
“Then, here at Dalby Bike Barn, we will have lots of cycling events, courses and activities planned in the run up to the visit of the Tour and right throughout the summer.
“We’ll have major MTB race events, local series MTB and road cycling events, as well as children’s clubs, skills development sessions and all ability days where we can help all those inspired by Le Tour to spend more time on their bikes.
“We shouldn’t look at this as a setback. We should be celebrating the fact that Yorkshire is welcoming the Tour de France and we can take the opportunity to further develop Dalby Forest and the wider Ryedale area as a premier UK cycling destination, inspiring a new generation of cyclists to get on their bikes.”
Coun Linda Cowling, leader of Ryedale District Council, said: “We are delighted that the Tour de France is coming to Yorkshire.
“It is disappointing that the race does not come through Ryedale. However, I am sure the economy of the area will benefit from it coming so close to us.”