Arts festival is planned in build-up to ‘amazing summer of cycling’ as Tour de France visits (From Keighley News)
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Arts festival is planned in build-up to ‘amazing summer of cycling’ as Tour de France visits
8:30am Saturday 26th January 2013 in Keighley
The Yorkshire leg of the Tour de France will be preceded by a 100-day arts festival.
A press conference at Leeds City Hall last Thursday heralded the beginning of the build-up to the 2014 event, and revealed why the county was chosen.
Keith Wakefield, leader of Leeds City Council, said bringing the race to the area was “the greatest sporting achievement” Yorkshire had accomplished.
Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour de France, said 190 countries would watch the race. He explained why the race was coming back to England, saying: “An amazing British summer for cycling convinced us to come over as soon as possible.
“Yorkshire has a history of sports and cycling, and interesting options for races.
“It has beautiful landscapes.”
Gary Verity, of Welcome to Yorkshire, said the county was the “British heartland of cycling. The reason for the bid was to raise Yorkshire’s profile on an international stage.
“We are more than ready to welcome the race. We are going to deliver a big legacy. We want more people cycling, for all children in Yorkshire to have access to a bike and to introduce bike hire banks in our cities.”
He revealed the Arts Council was developing a 100-day arts festival, meaning the tour’s impact was not limited to sport.
Cluny Macpherson, regional director of the Arts Council, said local groups now had 18 months to plan how to use the Tour to promote their events.
Meanwhile, it has emerged that nearly 8,000 people have signed up to be volunteers on the Yorkshire stages of the Tour.