Yorkshire Excited To Welcome Back Tour De France For First Time Since '07
Organizers of Yorkshire, U.K.'s two Tour de France stages next year "hope to use the event as a catalyst for cycling improvements" in the U.K., according to Sean Ingle of the London GUARDIAN. It will be the first time the Tour has returned to Britain since '07. Some believe "the Tour's visit push-started Britain's cycling boom." It also spooned £88M ($134M) into London's economy. The organizers, who "are busy pressing palms in Corsica this weekend, have grander ambitions still." They plan to use the Tour's sojourn "as a catalyst to provide a free bike-lending service to every child in the county -- as well as making the region the European capital of cycling." Welcome to Yorkshire CEO Gary Verity reports that preparations for next year's two stages in the county "are so advanced they could have been held this weekend." Verity: "The feedback from Tour officials is that we are in a good place." There is also "hope of a stimulus for the country, not just in 2014 when the hotels and B&Bs will be packed and the routes will be thronged, but in the years ahead" (GUARDIAN, 6/29).