Sheffield defends opting out of hosting cycle race

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SHEFFIELD COUNCIL has defended its decision not to play a part in the first ever Tour de Yorkshire.

The local authority faced questions after it failed to appear on the list of start and finish locations for the three-day race, designed to provide a lasting legacy of this summer’s Grand Départ.

Bridlington, Leeds, Scarborough, Selby, Wakefield and York were named as key locations for the event, which takes place in May next year.

Sheffield leaders confirmed it had not expressed interest in hosting the international race, despite findings from a recent report which suggested its staging of the Tour de France had generated around £10m for the city.

Coun Isobel Bowler, cabinet member for culture, said: “I can confirm that Sheffield did not submit a bid to be included in next year’s Tour de Yorkshire. After this year’s hugely successful Grand Départ Stage 2 finish in Sheffield, we believed it only fair to allow other towns in the region that were unable to host the Tour this year should be able to welcome the new event in 2015.

“We will be building on the cycling legacy created by hosting the world’s greatest annual sporting event and we wish the new race every success next year.”

Precise route details for the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire will be revealed on January 21.

The new event, which is approved by governing body the UCI, will be run by Welcome to Yorkshire and Amaury Sport Organisation, which operates the Tour de France.

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “I am confident it will become a huge annual event and something that will raise our profile year on year.”