Disabled cyclist chosen to wave off riders on the inaugural tour

Bethany Playford
Bethany Playford
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A DISABLED woman has been chosen to wave the starter’s flag at the start of the Tour de Yorkshire when it leaves Bridlington on May 1.

More than 140 riders from 18 teams, including Sir Bradley Wiggins and Germany’s Marcel Kittel, will compete in the debut race, which will leave from Bridlington Spa, on the first stage of the three day event.

Bethany Playford, 21, who is in a wheelchair, has been using a specially-adapted bike, with the help of personal assistant Mel Tebbett, for over a year.

Ms Tebbett said: “Bethany has been very excited since we found out - she nearly jumps out of her wheelchair with excitement. She keeps winding up people that she’s going to be famous. She thinks it is great.”

Hotels and guesthouses across the region are already benefitting from bookings for the race weekend, with York, where the riders and race organisation will be based, particularly busy.

Bethany will be joined at the start line by three other users of Priory View Day Centre – James Kilner, John Turner, and Leona Hull - who will all be using specially adapted bikes to help launch the race.

Next Tuesday she and Ms Tebbett are taking part in a sponsored cycle or walk which they have organised to raise money for a new bike for the All Ride cycle hire scheme, which they use regularly. “They only have one bike which is adapted for a wheelchair so Bethany wants to get another one so her friends can come too,” added Ms Tebbett.

They will be leaving from the All Ride base on Bridlington’s North Promenade at 10.30am. To sponsor them call Mel on 07731753778.