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12,000-strong volunteer army selected - were you one of the lucky ones

Organisers of July’s Tour de France Grand Départ have completed the recruitment of 12,000 volunteers to help ensure the event runs smoothly during its visit to Britain.

Millions of spectators are expected to line the roadside for the first two days of racing in Yorkshire, beginning on Saturday 5 July, followed by Stage 3 from Cambridge to London.

It’s the first time that a dedicated force of volunteers has been recruited to work on a Grand Départ, with the initiative modelled on the success of the Games Makers at London 2012.

One successful applicant, Becky Clarke from Bingley, said: “It’s really so exciting and a great privilege – I’m very chuffed!

“It was a bit worrying waiting to hear, but now I just can’t wait to get started.

“This really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

She added: I’ve watched the Tour on TV for years as my dad’s a big, big fan. He’s going to be so jealous!

“Our main role as Tour Makers will be helping the general public and making sure everyone has a safe, good time.”

Another future Tour Maker, Vijay Dayalji from Bradford, said: “I was completely shocked and am really excited to be a part of it,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to meeting people, seeing the riders zoom past and being part of the atmosphere and the buzz.”

One Tour Maker has more reason than most to look forward to the race's visit to Yorkshire - 21-year-old French student, who is studying tourism at Sheffield Hallam University.

She said: “I am really excited because I am French and my dad’s been a cyclist all his life – he used to be semi pro – and I grew up with the Tour de France so it’s really great to be involved.

"I cycle for fun myself, but I’ve seen the Tour every year on TV for the last 10 years and been to the last three or four final stages in Paris, so I know first-hand how massive it is. Now, to be part of it to make it happen, is just perfect.”

Welcome to Yorkshire has teamed up with Leeds-based Asda for the Tour Makers initiative.

The supermarket operator has helped to recruit and train the volunteers, as well as clothe them – the uniforms are made by its George clothing brand.

Volunteers now need to undertake an online training module and will then take part in motivational training and uniform collection days taking place in May and June.

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “The response since day one to the Tour Maker project has been unbelievable, with so many people wanting to be directly involved with this historic event.

“Whatever role a Tour Maker plays, wherever that is, they can say for years to come ‘I was there and I helped make it happen’.”

TDFHub2014 Ltd, the company delivering the Grand Départ, will be assigning roles to individual Tour Makers.

Those include marshalling the route and crossing points, as well as duties such as helping people with directions to the event at public transport hubs.

Nicky Roche, chief executive of TdFHUB2014 Ltd,  said: “The standard of applications was incredibly high, and I know that come July we will have a team of incredible, talented Tour Makers ready to welcome the world to the Tour de France in the UK.”

Did you apply to become a Tour Maker, and if so, did you receive good news? Let us know in the comments.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

14 comments

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TheMentalist [4 posts] 2 years ago
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 21 Got the good news on Friday evening! Am hoping for the Cambridge-London leg as live in Fulham....a trip to Yorkshire never out of the question though. Looking forward to helping them out!

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shishman [99 posts] 2 years ago
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I'm in as well. Don't care where I am allocated as I am so proud and excited to be a part of it.

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Yennings [237 posts] 2 years ago
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Don't get me wrong, respect to all those selfless souls who volunteered. Personally though I'm not sure having to stand by the side of the road for eight hours dealing with inevitably annoying members of the general public plus 30 seconds of peloton whizzing past would mark me out as one of the 'lucky' ones. All the disadvantages of being a live spectator at a road race and you can't even nip off for a beer when you get bored…

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jollygoodvelo [1426 posts] 2 years ago
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And yet again, not a mention of the leg through Essex. I can confirm that some of the roads have been nicely resurfaced, a lot of the trees on the road through the forest have been cut back... but apart from that, as far as I can tell nothing is happening in Essex! We should be having a festival and party of our own but it's almost like it's a secret.

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Simon_MacMichael [2452 posts] 2 years ago
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Gizmo_ wrote:

And yet again, not a mention of the leg through Essex. I can confirm that some of the roads have been nicely resurfaced, a lot of the trees on the road through the forest have been cut back... but apart from that, as far as I can tell nothing is happening in Essex! We should be having a festival and party of our own but it's almost like it's a secret.

Second paragraph, Stage 3, Cambridge-London (okay... via Essex)  3

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keirik [60 posts] 2 years ago
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I applied for a supervisor role as well as an ordinary role, but decided against the supervisor role when they wanted a video interview

I wasn't against the interview just the expectation that I had a webcam and could set up and do the interview within 2 days.

So I just went ahead with the standard role nd have been told I've got a place. Great but they haven't said where or what I will be doing - unlike the olympics where you were told your allocated role, so I'm not signing up to something where I dont know what is expected of me in terms of logistics.

seems to me that the olympics games makers has set a precedent for taking advantage and treating helpers as cattle

I think I'll just ride my bike to a nice viewing spot somewhere in epping Forest

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nowasps [429 posts] 2 years ago
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Unpaid work for the lucky ones...

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Leodis [403 posts] 2 years ago
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My respect to the Tour makers but I pulled out as though I am selfish I just couldnt face missing the weekend stuck directing cars in a field or litter picking for the council.

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Alan Tullett [1568 posts] 2 years ago
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Doing the Cambridge stage. Never done this before so interesting to see what it's like. It's not going to be a great stage to see on TV in any case.

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Ghostie [93 posts] 2 years ago
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A relative put their name down as a Tour Maker for Cambridge. Contacted them after the extended deadline and was told they'd lost the initial applications, and it was too late to be considered. Wouldn't have done it myself, assuming no other plans, have already found a suitable place out on Stage 3 to watch the peloton, support cars and TV helicopter whizz by.

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Tony [114 posts] 2 years ago
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I was a Games Maker at the Olympics which was a fantastic experience and now been accepted as a Tour Maker hopefully for the Cambridge leg. Can't wait!  103

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tommy2p [89 posts] 2 years ago
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I've been accepted though not sure what role yet as I applied for a supervisor role/hospitality/flag marshal on the London stage. I am really looking forward to it.

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Les Ed [70 posts] 2 years ago
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The misses and me are in. Hope its the Yorkshire leg as still have relatives close by so can scrounge a floor to sleep on.

just hope I look good in Asda green.

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fatbeggaronabike [815 posts] 2 years ago
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I got told I was picked but as yet still waiting for the what where and when aspects.

Still find it ironic that Asda are sponsoring it, as quite a few of there stores that I have been to (but not used because I couldn't lock the bike up) in the past do not have ANY cycle parking facilities.