Volunteers sign up to become 'Le Tourmakers' when Tour de France visits district

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Reigning Tour De France champion Bradley Wiggins celebrates his victory in 2012 Reigning Tour De France champion Bradley Wiggins celebrates his victory in 2012

More than 1,000 people from the Bradford area have volunteered to become “Le Tourmakers” when the Tour De France passes through Yorkshire next summer.

Last month it was announced that the Yorkshire leg of the world famous cycle race will take in Ilkley, Keighley, Haworth, Stanbury, Silsden and Oxenhope on the weekend of July 5 and 6, 2014.

It will bring in hundreds of people involved in the various teams as well as thousands of spectators.

To cope with the huge undertaking, tourism group Welcome To Yorkshire asked for volunteers, who would be called “Le Tourmakers” to get involved.

Now it has been announced more than 1,000 people from the BD postcode area alone have put their names forward, with well over a year to go until the race.

The enthusiastic response has been described as similar to that seen in London during the 2012 Olympics.

Coun Andrew Thornton, executive member for sport on Bradford Council, said: “We are bowled over by the number of volunteers who have already stepped forward to offer support for this event.

"It demonstrates the amount of local interest in cycling and sport in general, as we currently have a high level of volunteering in sports clubs across the district. It appears that the spirit of the Olympics is continuing to benefit local sports. This event will also boost the region’s economy by bringing in more visitors.”

Bradford Council invested more than £300,000 towards Yorkshire’s bid to host the Grand Depart and in the coming year’s budget has set aside £130,000 for district-wide events to mark Le Tour.

Jonathan Riley, from Ilkley Cycling Club, said a number of the club’s members had volunteered.

He added: “Recent weeks have confirmed Bradford’s passion for the biggest sporting occasions. The tour will pass through some of the finest and proudest cycling country within Bradford district on both days, so it’s no surprise that there’s been such a huge level of interest here in being part of the Tourmaker team.”

Haworth parish councillor John Huxley said: “It is very encouraging. People have obviously seen the Olympic model and how well it worked and wanted to get involved in something closer to home.

“The event being on our doorstep is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Good luck to everyone who has volunteered.”

Starting in Leeds, the Yorkshire leg of the tour will also pass through Ilkley, Harrogate, Skipton and Otley over the two days, before heading to London, and then onto France.

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