Yorkshire to host ASO delegation in May as part of Tour de France bid

Tourism chiefs to show TDF organsisers route and hotels for proposed 2016 Grand Départ

by Simon_MacMichael   February 4, 2012  

TDF 2012 Presentation stage © Simon MacMichael

Tourism officials in Yorkshire will in May this year welcome a delegation from Tour de France organisers ASO as the region bids to host the Grand Départ of cycling’s biggest race in 2016.

Welcome to Yorkshire will host the ASO delegation for two days, reports the York Press, showing them hotels that would be used, the planned route of the opening stages of the race, and the guests will also attend a dinner in their honour.

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, commented: “This is big news for Yorkshire. We look forward to showing ASO that Yorkshire is passionate about hosting the race and giving them the best overseas leg in Tour de France history.

“If we get this right as a county, with everyone working together pooling resources and expertise, this will be Yorkshire’s Commonwealth Games moment.

“It would have a similar impact on the county as the Games did in Manchester, showcasing Yorkshire to the world and putting it on the map as a dynamic place to visit, live and do business.”

The proposed route to be covered during the two days’ racing would take in the cities of Leeds, York, Hull and Sheffield, plus the Yorkshire Dales, the North York Moors and the coast surrounding Scarborough.

The tourist authority is said to be putting together a technical team to help support the bid, which also has the backing of World Champion Mark Cavendish, whose mother’s family comes from Harrogate, as well as well as triathlon’s Brownlee brothers, Jonathan and Alistair.

The latter said: “As proud Yorkshiremen we are delighted to back the bid to bring the Tour de France to Yorkshire. We spend a lot of time training in our home county and know what a beautiful, challenging and inspiring landscape it is to compete in and we are sure the peloton would find it no different.”

The Tour de France has paid three visits to the UK, starting here in 2007 when London staged the Grand Départ, with massive crowds watching Fabian Cancellara win the Prologue. The following day, Australia’s Robbie McEwen won in Canterbury.

Previous visits saw Holland’s Henk Poppe win stage in 1974 that began and ended in Plymouth, while in 1994, Spain’s Francisco Cabello took Stage 4 from Dover to Brighton, with the Italian Nicola Minali winning Stage 5 in Portsmouth.

The Tour de France first held its Grand Départ outside France in 1954 when it began in The Netherlands in 1954, and now does so every two or three years, with a queue of cities and regions throughout Europe and further afiled vying for a chance to give their tourist profile a boost.

Scotland, like Yorkshire, also has ambitions of hosting the Grand Départ, while other places hoping to do so in the coming years include Barcelona, Florence, Krakow and Qatar.

7 user comments

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Great #yorkshiretdf suggestions on twitter for famous Yorkshiremen and women that could fill the official jobs in 2016:

@SpongepantsTC suggests Eric Pickles to lead the peloton through the neutralized zone. Also, "started by Peter Sallis in a tin bath?”

@INBFC (International Ned Boulting Fan Club) thought of Sir Patrick Stewart to drive the Broom Wagon.

We may have suggested Dicky Bird for Race Commissaire and Parky for post-race interviews.

@paul_nettleton "Brian Blessed for race commentary! Lamenting the loss of Jimmy Saville - this would've been right up his street!" Also, Scary Spice as one of the podium girls

Our own @simonmacmichael posted, "Damien Hirst to design jerseys, Kaiser Chiefs to do music - 'I predict a bunch sprint' - Nora Batty to supply legwarmers.

posted by nick_rearden [864 posts]
4th February 2012 - 16:26

1 Like

Might I suggest Alastair Campbell can make up a wishful rider list then get the DG of the BBC to resign for challenging the 'sexed up' list? As Ben Elton would say 'A little bit political..' but as a proud Yorkshireman myself I do tire of being misrepresented by a bunch of egotists. The only modest Yorkshireman I can remember (aside from Alan Bennett of course) in the public eye was David Seaman. And he had a ponytail. Confused

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1161 posts]
4th February 2012 - 16:49


Ooh, if the tour is coming through Sheffield does that mean the council might surface some of the roads for them to use? I'm getting fed up of riding on gravel and broken glass instead of tarmac.

posted by Jonathing [62 posts]
4th February 2012 - 18:05


send them up sutton and blakey banks in the NY moors, that'll sort them out.

joemmo's picture

posted by joemmo [1079 posts]
4th February 2012 - 19:14

1 Like

joemmo wrote:
send them up sutton and blakey banks in the NY moors, that'll sort them out.

My bro lives at the top of Sutton Bank at Cold Kirby and i regularly pop down with my bike for a spin with him. The bank is a complete ball breaker, shame it's not longer though as coming down it is lush.

As for the tour passing through Yorkshire it would be brilliant instead of the south getting everything.

There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

posted by stumps [3177 posts]
4th February 2012 - 20:15


Not that i have anything against the sunshine brigade of course Devil Devil

There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

posted by stumps [3177 posts]
4th February 2012 - 20:17


Would love to hear Sir Geoff commentating on le Tour. 'what the bloody hell does he mean, he doesn't think this descent should be in the race? When I were a lad we all rode on unsurfaced roads. My nan could have attacked better than that on a stick of rhubarb. Fred Trueman would never have checked to see if his brother were following him. Ere, love, mek us a cuppa or I'll give you a thick ear again. Allegedly.
More than anything, would love to see Bod's Own County up in arms at the numbers of 'comers-in'. Tha shouldn't be racing unless tha were born in Heckmondwike.

posted by andyp [1368 posts]
4th February 2012 - 22:18