Tour de France will be back in Yorkshire, says director

Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme has claimed it is a case of 'when, not if' the greatest cycling spectacle in the world returns to Yorkshire.

Local cyclist Matt Denby tackles the 15% cobbles of Shibden Wall which will feature in the 3rd and final stage of the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

The White Rose county staged what Prudhomme regularly describes as the “grandest Grand Départ of all time” in 2014 when an estimated five million people lined the route of the first two days of that year’s Tour de France. Sir Gary Verity, the mastermind behind the boom in cycling in Yorkshire, has lobbied ever since for the biggest free-to-all sporting event in the world to come back to the Broad Acres.

And at the announcement of the route for next year’s Tour de Yorkshire at the Impressions Gallery in Bradford yesterday, Mr Prudhomme gave the broadest hint yet that a White Rose return is on the cards.

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“We will be back. I don’t know when, but the question is not if, it is when,” said Prudhomme.

Local cyclist Matt Denby tackles the 15% cobbles of Shibden Wall which will feature in the 3rd and final stage of the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

“I don’t know if it will be three years, five years, 10 years. I hope it won’t be 15 years because it will be too late for me. The passion for cycling, the huge crowds everywhere, the smiles on people’s faces – that is so important to us.”

Yorkshire has already secured rights to host the 2019 Road World Championships, meaning a Tour de France return would be in 2020 at the earliest.

Local cyclist Matt Denby tackles the 15% cobbles of Shibden Wall which will feature in the 3rd and final stage of the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire. PIC: Bruce Rollinson