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Skipton Tour de France plans crank up a gear

Skipton Tour de France plans crank up a gear

Published at 3:04pm 23rd October 2013. (Updated at 8:35am 20th January 2014)

It’s been confirmed the Tour de France will travel along Skipton High Street as part of the Grand Départ on Saturday 5 July 2014.

To celebrate, Craven District Council, Skipton Town Council and Skipton BID are planning a 'spectator hub' in the town to enable residents and visitors to watch the entire race from Leeds to Harrogate.

It will include two large TV screens, one on the High Street and another in the Canal Basin, to give everyone in and around Skipton the opportunity to watch the race, share in the excitement and celebrate the beauty and scenery of the Yorkshire Dales.

There will also be other fringe events and entertainment planned in the Canal Basin to give it a festival feel.

Councillor Simon Myers, Lead Member for the Tour de France for Craven District Council, said: "Crowd modelling data shows large numbers of people travelling into Skipton for the race, far surpassing the crowds that watched the Olympic Torch travel up the High Street last summer.

"Having the race travel up the High Street is a fantastic opportunity for everyone and we want to ensure everyone, from businesses to residents and visitors benefits.

"The spectator hub gives everyone a reason to stay in Skipton to watch the rest of the race, enjoy the party atmosphere and make the most of the day."

Stage 1 of the Grand Départ will travel from Leeds to Harrogate via Skipton, and the racers will enter Skipton along Otley Road, race along Newmarket Street, before travelling up Skipton High Street and turning onto Raikes Road, leaving the town via Grassington Road. 

David Wathen, Chairman of Skipton BID, said: "For Skipton residents and visitors to be able to witness first hand the spectacle of the Le Tour is a fantastic opportunity, and not only is Skipton High Street a great backdrop for the race, we have some impressive local business and organisations in Skipton that can ensure residents and visitors enjoy this once in a lifetime event."

The roads along the route of Le Tour can be viewed in full here.

Councillor Simon Myers concluded: "There is an expected worldwide TV audience of 3.5 billion people for Le Tour, and 900,000 visitors expected across Stage 1, so thousands are likely to visit the district to watch the race.

"Now the people know the route of Le Tour, they can start planning how they might make it Craven's moment to shine and showcase our businesses, art and landscape to the world.

"Today's announcement really brings the route to life and we want as many people from across Craven as possible to enjoy watching the race and give Le Tour a proper Craven welcome." 

Craven District Council has provided information on Le Tour and how to get involved on its website and also produced an 'On the Route' e-newsletter.

Anyone who would like a copy can e-mail tourdefrance@cravendc.gov.uk to be added to the mailing list.