Yorkshire set target date for Tour de France and Vuelta double

Yorkshire is lobbying to host the Grand Departs of the Vuelta Espana and Tour de France in 2022 and 2024, respectively.

Mark Cavendish and Chris Froome (front) lead the Grand Depart at the ceremonial start of The Tour De France 2014. Could the race be coming back in 2024? (Picture: Anthony Chappel-Ross/PA Wire)

The Yorkshire Post revealed in May that the region’s cycling chiefs have opened negotiations with Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO), the organisers of those two grand tours, to bring the races to the White Rose county.

And confirmation of the dates was provided yesterday at the 2019 Tour de Yorkshire location announcement, just hours after UK Sport issued an ambitious agenda to bring all the major sporting events to this country over the next decade and a half.

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UK Sport, the government’s elite sport agency, wants to attract the starts of all three of cycling’s grand tours by 2025, stage a Ryder Cup in England and bid again for the men’s and women’s Rugby World Cups, as well as the football World Cup. Given Yorkshire’s history in staging the 2014 Tour de France Grand Depart, the annual Tour de Yorkshire and next year’s world championships, the region has proven equipped to stage major cycling events.

Sir Gary Verity, the chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire who has been negotiating with ASO about the Vuelta and the Tour’s return, confirmed: “We are talking to UK Sport to ensure that we’re working together. The Vuelta and Tour de France are both in our sights and is something we’re working very hard on.

“There’s a logic to those dates (2022 and 2024). Whether those dates end up happening is a decision for other people but I could see the logic in that format.”

Marcel Kittell wins the first stage of the 2014 Tour de France in Harrogate from Peter Sagan after Mark Cavendish crashed at the bottom of Parliament Street. (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)
Welcome to Yorkshire's car at this year's Vuelta a Espana which could be coming to Yorkshire (Picture: SWPix.com)