Welcome2Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity has confirmed that he is in negotiations with Tour de France organisers ASO in a bid to bring a three-day race to Yorkshire in 2015.
The English county will play host to the Tour de France’s Grand Depart in 2014 but Verity, who is keen to build on the legacy of the event, has aspirations of a Yorkshire based three-day race similar to the Criterium International, an ASO event that takes place in the spring of each year.
“We don’t want to do it in the autumn or winter time. We’d want to do it at a time when Yorkshire is at its best,” Verity told Cyclingnews.
“We’ve said all the way along that we’re keen for Yorkshire to become the cycling capital of Europe and wrestle that away from the Belgians. Clearly having the Tour de France is not going to do that on its own so there needs to be a whole series of things. We’ve had some really good discussions with ASO about bringing other races to Yorkshire.”
“It would be great if we could do a three-day race, similar to the Criterium International. Something like that would fit really well in Yorkshire. We know that we’ve got all kinds of stages we could put on and if we could do that on a regular basis, it would be a genuine legacy of the Tour de France coming to Yorkshire.”
The 2014 Tour de France will kick off on July 5 with a 191km stage from Leeds to Harrogate. Stage 2 will travel from York to Sheffield before a third stage from Cambridge to London.
“From out point of view, the legacy has kicked in already because we’ve seen this huge explosion of cycling, particularly around the routes but right the way through Yorkshire as people have become enthused with the Grand Depart.”