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Keighley man on a mission to change Tour de France route
A Keighley man is on a mission to persuade the Tour de France organisers to alter the planned route of the race.
Cycling enthusiast Frank O’Dwyer, 71, who lives in Black Hill, is determined to see Keighley make the most of the famous event when it passes through the town on July 6 next year.
As part of his ambition, he has written to ASO – the Paris-based race organisers – to ask whether the proposed route can incorporate the hamlet of Hainworth.
The final confirmed route is not due to be released to the public until October, but the existing map shows the race will travel south from Keighley to Cross Roads along the main A629 Halifax Road.
Arguing the race should instead deviate onto a steep climb up Hainworth Lane before dropping down into Cross Roads, Mr O’Dwyer said: “This would split the pack before it reaches Haworth and would create really exciting viewing for the armchair supporters on TV.”
He also hopes the organisers will consider his recommendation that the race’s intermediate sprint should take place while passing through Keighley town centre.
He said people interested in helping to celebrate the Tour de France coming to Keighley are welcome to attend a meeting at a town centre pub next week. He has arranged the gathering at Wetherspoons in North Street for 6pm on Tuesday. Representatives from local businesses have been invited, and members of Keighley Town Council will also be attending.
Mr O’Dwyer, who is a retired engineer, said he would like entertainment to be on offer in the town centre alongside the route of the race when it reaches Keighley.
“The town is going to be locked down for at least four hours so we need to have some sort of entertainment on offer,” he said.
“People think this is still a long way off, but it isn’t. We need to be planning now, and ensuring the event is a rousing success.”
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