Tour de France fever hits Craven after race route is unveiled

Craven Herald: Chris Harbron, Dave Wathen and Simon Myers toast the arrival in Craven of the Tour Chris Harbron, Dave Wathen and Simon Myers toast the arrival in Craven of the Tour

Tour de France fever has already gripped Craven following the announcement of the 2014 route of the world’s greatest cycle race.

It will enter the district along Addingham Bypass on Saturday, July 5, and then head to Skipton, turning off on Otley Road.

The cyclists will then go down Newmarket Street, up Skipton High Street, along Grassington Road en route to Hawes and Harrogate, via Rylstone, Cracoe, Thresh-field, Kilnsey, Kettlewell, Starbotton, Buckden and Cray.

Day two of the tour, on Sunday, July 6, will also involve parts of Craven, with the route taking in Beamsley Hill, Bolton Bridge, Addingham, and Silsden.

In preparation, North Yorkshire County Council is to display new waymarker signs.

More people are expected to visit Skipton to see the peloton power up High Street than turned up to see the Olympic torch.

And to make the event truly memorable, Craven District Council, Skipton Town Council and Skipton BID are planning a spectacular public screening.

It will enable people to watch the race on two large screens, one in High Street, the other in the canal basin.

Craven’s lead member for the Tour de France, Coun Simon Myers, said he expected bigger crowds in Skipton than for the Olympic torch.

“Now the people know the route of Le Tour, they can start planning how they might make it Craven's moment to shine and showcase our businesses, art, and landscape to the world.”

David Wathen, chairman of Skipton BID, said: “The High Street is a great backdrop for the race. We have some impressive local business and organisations in Skipton that can ensure residents and visitors enjoy this once in a lifetime event.”

Skipton town councillor Chris Harbron added: “We are planning events and activities to go alongside the screen, to really make this a weekend to remember.”

The roads along the route of Le Tour, can be viewed in full at letour.yorkshire. com/the-route.

Meanwhile Welcome to Yorkshire representatives will arrive in Skipton.

Their branded vehicle will stop in front of Skipton Town Hall in the afternoon – no specific time has been set – and give out literature about the Tour and answer questions.

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