Champion Chris Froome urges volunteers to support Tour de France

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Tour de France champion Chris Froome with volunteers in their jackets Tour de France champion Chris Froome with volunteers in their jackets

Anyone wanting to be a part of the Yorkshire leg of next summer’s Tour de France is being advised to get their applications to become “Tourmakers” in before next week’s deadline.

So far more than 20,000 people have volunteered for the role, which will see them make sure the cycling event runs as smoothly as possible.

The scheme will follow the hugely successful ‘Gamesmaker’ volunteer programme over the London Olympics.

Reigning Tour champion Chris Froome has urged people to volunteer and become a part of the biggest sporting event to have come to the area.

Mr Froome said: “I’d say to everyone ‘come and become part of it’. The Tour is like a big carnival and this is your chance. It’s really exciting that the race is coming to the UK and to be a part of it will be amazing – it’s your Tour!”

The race comes to the district over the weekend of July 5 and 6, and will pass through areas including Ilkley, Keighley, Haworth and Silsden.

Millions of spectators are expected to descend on Yorkshire and line the route to catch a glimpse of the world’s best cyclists and take part in numerous events that will coincide with the race.

The Tour then moves to London for the third day of the UK leg.

In total 10,000 Tourmakers will be needed. Their roles include lining the route, welcoming visitors and supporting the emergency and National Parks services.

A spokesman for Welcome To Yorkshire, which helped bring the race to the county, said the majority of volunteers so far were from Yorkshire.

Despite the large number of people already having put their names forward, more are needed as many of the 20,000 may still be ruled unsuitable due to age or health reasons.

Supermarket chain ASDA is the official tourmaker partner, and will produce 10,000 uniforms for the Tourmakers – with a distinctive green jacket letting visitors know that they are “here to help”. They will also recruit, train and feed the volunteers.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg officially unveiled the Tourmaker partnership earlier this month.

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “To have a star like Chris get behind our Tourmakers scheme is nothing short of inspirational to us and everyone involved.

“The time is now to step forward for those who want to be part of one of the biggest sporting events in living memory in Yorkshire and our country.”

The deadline to apply to become a tourmaker is December 31 and people can do so by visiting letouryorkshire.com/volunteer

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