YORKSHIRE is hoping to host the start of the Tour de France in a few years’ time.
The region of north-east England could benefit from an economic boost of as much as €300million if the plan goes ahead, organisers behind the bid believe.
Academics have come up with the figure based on studying the effects on London when the Tour started there in 2007.
Tour organiser Christian Prudhomme and a close associate reportedly visited Yorkshire recently. "We have made a bid and would be ready to host the Tour from 2014 onwards,” the chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, Gary Verity told The Guardian. “We anticipate having all our ducks in a row by December.”
Verity said the recent carrying of the Olympic torch through the area had showed how Yorkshire people are ready to turn out to support a sporting event passing through the street.
“The effect of the Tour would be phenomenal,” he said.
It is hoped that it would be possible to host two stages across Yorkshire, up to a total 400km.
Edinburgh is also in the running to host the Tour’s Grand Départ in the future, but is thought to present more organisational problems than Yorkshire – the Tour has to return to France without missing a day’s racing. If Yorkshire is picked it may be possible to finish a stage in South Yorkshire, then transfer by car to the start of a stage finishing near the Channel Tunnel.
This year Liège in Belgium hosts this year’s start on June 30.