Tour de France 2014: Grand Depart preparations on track with six months to go

Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity hopes benefits of race will be felt countrywide

Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity believes the Tour de France Grand Depart will provide a huge boost to the whole country, not just the white rose county.

Preparations for Yorkshire’s Tour de France Grand Depart are on schedule with six months to go after TDFHUB2014 Ltd, the company formed to organise the world’s most prestigious cycling event, published the first of three reports in the build-up to the 2014 race.

Gary Verity believes the whole country will benefit from Yorkshire hosting the 2014 Tour de France Grand Depart

Verity said: “With six months to go we are in a great position to ensure the whole country now benefits from hosting the greatest cycle race on the planet and to make it the highlight of a world class weekend of sport for this country.”

The economic legacy of the Grand Depart is estimated to be more than £100m and organisers have called on businesses to seize the opportunities on offer.

When Kent hosted the Grand Depart in 2007, an estimated £90 million was generated for the UK’s economy but current predictions estimate next year’s Tour will generate significantly more.

Covering 349 miles across the three UK stages, the Grand Depart will be one of the biggest free sports events ever held in this country, and with the route announced in October and plans for ‘Tour Maker’ volunteers to be recruited, TDF2014HUB Ltd’s chairman Sir Rodney Walker insists preparations are on track.

He said: “A huge amount has been achieved since it was announced that England would host the world’s most prestigious cycle race in 2014. This is thanks to the hard work and collaborative approach of all the partners involved.

“The publication of today’s report demonstrates that we on track to deliver a spectacular sporting event in six months that the country can be proud of. However, we are not complacent as there is still a long road ahead and many challenges.

“This is shaping up to be the UK’s biggest ever free sport event, and the economic benefit will be in excess of £100 million. I would urge all businesses to seize the opportunity and make the most of the UK being centre stage once again.”

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