French President gives support to Yorkshire's Tour de France bid

President Hollande backs Le Bid during meeting with Labour leader and Yorkshire MP Ed Milliband

by Simon_MacMichael   July 25, 2012  

Sutton Bank (picture credit Welcome to Yorkshire)

French President François Hollande has given his backing to plans to bring the start of the Tour de France to Yorkshire in 2016. President Hollande, who defeated Nicolas Sarkozy in May’s run-off for the presidency, expressed his support in a meeting at the Elysée Palace with Labour leader Ed Milliband, who is MP for Doncaster North.

Tourism agency Welcome to Yorkshire, which is co-ordinating the region’s bid to host the Grand Départ, lobbied hard during this year’s Tour to win over organisers ASO, including sending a delegation over to Liège for the start of the race and placing adverts in L’Equipe as Bradley Wiggins headed towards making history by becoming its first British winner.

"The president was 'very supportive'," Mr Milliband said afterwards, quoted on "It would be a good thing for Yorkshire,” he added. “It would be a great thing for my constituency. I am backing Le Bid."

The Telegraph added according to the president’s aides, his support meant that there is a "very realistic prospect" of Yorkshire realising its dream of hosting the start of the race in four years’ time.

The bid, which is competing to host a future Grand Départ not only with cities on the continent but also with the Scottish capital Edinburgh, was formally presented to ASO earlier this year.

The proposed route of the opening two stages would take in cities and towns such as Leeds, Sheffield, Hull, York and Scarborough as well as the region’s spectacular scenery, such as the climb of Sutton Bank (pictured).

Welcome to Yorkshire’s chief executive, Gary Verity, said: "We have strong cross-party political support within the county to make this happen and now we have the support of President François Hollande, which is great news for our bid.

“Yorkshire is seen by many as the spiritual heartland of cycling in the UK, we have the cycling heritage, we have the champions and we are race ready to host Le Tour.

“It would be an honour to bring the race back to England and host it in our great county and we are working hard to make that happen."

To date, more than 150,000 people have given their support to Yorkshire’s bid through the Back Le Bid website – it only takes seconds to add your own details to express your own backing for it.

3 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

I think it will go to Edinburgh rather than Yorkshire, purely because it has already started in England and not Scotland so i think they may get the thumbs up.

However personally i would like to see Yorkshire as it would be a cracking place to start the race.

There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

posted by stumps [3034 posts]
25th July 2012 - 20:25


If it does go to Yorkshire they could even get the Doncaster Diva to sing a few tunes after her sterling performance in paris !!! Not

posted by jimbocrimbo [44 posts]
25th July 2012 - 20:35


If the route was changed to include Manchester, Le Bid would be far more effective because the city is well known in France due to the success of their football teams (I am not a United or City fan - I am a Londoner).


posted by cisgil23 [51 posts]
1st September 2012 - 14:49