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Sport Minister Hugh Robertson: No more money for Tour de France Yorkshire Grand Départ

£10 million "very generous" compared to other events...

Sport Minister Hugh Robertson has repeated that the government will not fund next year’s Tour de France Grand Depart in Yorkshire beyond the £10 million already pledged to support the event.

The BBC reports that while visiting Yorkshire on Tuesday, Mr Robertson said that the allocation of funding was “a very generous grant” compared to other events.

However, Yorkshire police bosses have complained that organisers do not appear to have properly assessed the cost of supervising the two days of racing in Yorkshire.

North Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan says her force could face a £1 million shortfall in policing the race.

Mr Robertson said: "If you look at the money given to comparable events such as the Rugby League World Cup, that's about half-a-million pounds, £10m is a very generous grant from central government that will enable Yorkshire to run an absolutely fantastic event next year.

"I'm confident that everybody here is focused on delivering a fantastic event for the county for cycling and for this country's sporting reputation."

Event co-ordinator TDF 2014 Ltd said it was in talks with police forces.

Tourism body Welcome to Yorkshire's chief executive Gary Verity, said: "In just over nine months' time the world's leading cyclists will be lining up in Leeds for the start of what will undoubtedly be one of the proudest moments in Yorkshire's sporting history.

"We expect millions of people to be lining the roadside creating an atmosphere not seen before in the UK.

"Yorkshire is proud to be playing such a pivotal part in this global sporting event, the county will be ready to welcome the world and to host an unforgettable Grand Départ."

John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farrelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

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