Yorkshire bids for Tour de France
Published 28/05/2011 | 11:48
Advanced talks are underway to bring the Tour de France to Yorkshire.
The tourism agency Welcome to Yorkshire confirmed is has launched an "audacious bid" to bring the opening stages of the world's most famous cycling race to the north of England in 2016.
The Grand Départ - the opening two days of the race - are held in a new location outside France every two years.
It was last held in the UK in 2007 when thousands turned out to watch the teams in London and Kent.
Welcome to Yorkshire confirmed detailed talks have already taken place about a start to the 2016 Tour in Leeds city centre and a delegation has visited Paris.
The proposal is for the world's greatest cycling stars to then weave their way to the Yorkshire Dales, head east to Scarborough and the coast, via York and the North York Moors, before dropping south to Hull and finally to Sheffield.
The racing would be spread over two days, covering 180kms a day, with Leeds hosting a festival of music and entertainment in the city centre to welcome the teams and the Tour's entourage.
Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity said: "I can confirm that we are having advanced talks to host the Tour de France.
"Those in depth discussions are ongoing but I can reveal Yorkshire's bid has been positively received by the organising committee at this stage.
"Yorkshire is a world class destination experienced at successfully hosting world class events and we believe it will provide the perfect backdrop to the world's greatest cycle race, producing the best international Grand Départ the Tour de France has seen yet."