Posts Tagged Yorkshire Tour de France

“Ghost Peloton” to celebrate Grand Depart

Fifty cyclists lit with LEDs will take part in a “ghost peloton” in Leeds as part of a festival to celebrate and welcome in the Tour de France Grand Depart.

The £2m Yorkshire Festival will include 47 different bicycle-themed projects, including installations, performances, photography exhibitions and screenings.

The festival will run from 27th March to 6th July, with the Tour’s Grand Depart taking place in Leeds on 5th July before spending two days racing through places like Harrogate, York and Sheffield.

Yorkshire Festival executive producer Henrietta Duckworth said: “The race is not just about those two days of epic exertion by men in lycra.

“This is an opportunity to engage people with a programme of work that will capture the imagination, trigger some excitable and enjoyable activities and give people a chance to get involved in the Grand Depart in the 100 days leading up to the actual race.”

Highlights of the festival include:

  • Two new sculptures by Thomas Houseago, one for Leeds city centre and the other for the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
  • Large-scale grass-based land art installations will be created along the route of the second day of the Tour de France.
  • A “tour de cinema” will include film screenings in 35 town halls and 10 outdoor locations.
  • A songwriting relay will create folk songs and take them from town to town by bicycle.
  • Maxine Peake will make her stage scriptwriting debut at the West Yorkshire Playhouse with a play about cyclist Beryl Burton.
  • The White Cloth Gallery in Leeds will host an exhibition of photographs of the Tour from the 1960s to the present day.
  • Belgian theatre company Theater Tol will perform an aerial show about Italian cyclists Gino Bartali and Fausto Coppi in Dewsbury.

After the Tour’s opening two stages in Yorkshire, the third stage will go from Cambridge to London before the race moves to France.

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Yorkshire to host start of Tour de France 2014

 

Leeds Arcade picture by Flickr user Eric The Fish (2012)

The recent success of the Tour de France has helped to cement the decision to have Yorkshire host the start of the Tour de France in 2014.

The county beat off worldwide competition to host the Grand Départ, the prestigious opening few days of the cycling race. The host city will be Leeds, which will also host an arts and cycling festival to coincide with the tour. Details of where the race will travel through after Leeds are yet to be released, but will likely go through Scarborough, York and Sheffield.

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, the agency behind the county’s bid, said: “It will mean less than two years after hosting the Olympics the British public can look forward to another of the world’s biggest sporting events coming to the country, and I am in no doubt they will come to Yorkshire in their millions, lining the length and breadth of the route to cheer on the champions of world cycling and our home grown British heroes.”

The first two days of the race will be held in the county on 5th and 6th July 2014, before moving to a third stage somewhere in southern England, finishing in London before continuing on to France.

VisitBritain CEO Sandie Dawe said: “It is fantastic news that the 2014 Tour de France will start in Yorkshire and that this major sporting event will be back in the UK. The beautiful countryside will be a wonderful backdrop and seen by an international audience as well as the thousands who will come to see the race.

“Cycling in the UK has received a welcome boost due to the success of team GB’s cyclists and Bradley Wiggins’s tour victory, so we hope that a Britain-wide bid will be successful in future years.”

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