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The Leap - cyclists help create huge Tour de France artwork in Yorkshire

One of 12 Fields of Vision works on Grand Depart route; also, Yorkshire gets ready to welcome race

One month to the day before the 101st edition of the Tour de France begins in Leeds, cyclists, artists and farmers have yesterday descended on a field in Yorkshire to create an artwork that will be seen by millions of viewers worldwide during TV coverage of Stage 2 of the race. Meanwhile, communities throughout the region are busy putting the finishing touches to their preparations to welcome the world’s biggest annual sporting event.

The artwork, called The Leap has been designed by West Yorkshire-based artist Louise Lockhart and was traced out yesterday near Oxenhope by the tyre tracks of dozens of cyclists taking part in a time trial, the course of which follows the outline of a female figure, symbolising the freedom the bicycle gave women.

It is one of a dozen installations being put in place on the route of Stage 2 from York to Sheffield as part of the Yorkshire Festival, under the name Fields of Vision, whose creative director, Geoff Wood, said: “For our team working on Fields of Vision, the Tour de France is a fantastic chance to show just what talented artists we have in the region and to use their skills to make art on a truly epic scale.

“Delivering a project as ambitious as this has been a big undertaking. We are really looking forward to seeing the results of our work on the television and sharing our work with all the viewers. We hope, of course that this will encourage people to explore this glorious landscape.”

Welcome to Yorkshire’s chief executive, Gary Verity, who masterminded the successful bid to bring the race to the north of England, said: “It’s fitting that this team of cyclists should help us mark one month to go to the start of the Tour.

“It is images like these, beamed to the world, which will put Yorkshire on the map globally. We’ve a month to go to the greatest sporting event in Yorkshire’s history, the county is crackling with excitement and we cannot wait to start welcoming the world.”

Welcome to Yorkshire also outlined some of the iniiatives being undertaken locally ahead of the race, including:

70km of celebratory cycling jersey bunting being sent throughout the county to dress towns and villages in preparation for the big weekend

Taylors of Harrogate, the official tea partner of the Grand Départ, is preparing to giveaway over 5m tea bags to spectators lined along the UK stages

In Masham, over 100,000 pints of beers are predicted to be sold from its breweries during the Tour de France weekend – the biggest party in the town’s history

Harrogate Borough Council after a call out for 3,000 knitted bunting jerseys, have been inundated with 23,000 jerseys

In Ripley – which is styled on an historic French village complete with Hotel du Ville – a giant Tricolour of flowers is being planted on the castle terraces to be visible from the air

Knaresborough have filled their town with over 20 yellow bikes and 14 trompe l'oeil window murals, two of which feature cycling legends Beryl Burton and Brian Robinson.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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