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Tour route is winner for Rhylstone star Williams who trains in the Dales
The choice of route for the Yorkshire stages of the Tour de France in 2014 has been given the thumbs up by one of Craven’s top professional riders.
The first stage of the world’s top cycle race will go from Leeds to Harrogate via Harewood, Otley, Ilkley, Skipton, Kettlewell, Aysgarth, Hawes, Reeth, Leyburn, Ripon and Harrogate, on Saturday, July 5.
And the second stage from York to Sheffield will also come into the region at Silsden and Bolton Abbey.
Rhylstone's Pete Williams, winner of the sprint classification in the 2012 Tour of Britain, said: “It’s brilliant that the route is passing through the area.
“It was great that it was announced the tour was coming to Yorkshire and so for the route to include this area is the icing on the cake and I’m sure it will be a fantastic weekend.
“The event really is the biggest single sporting event in the world so for it to come here and be on people’s doorstep is a huge thing for the area. It will be great for the race to pass my front door and use the same roads I and many others train on every day.”
The 26-year old, who has signed to ride for the UK pro team IG-Sigmasport for 2013, added: “I think these roads are some of the most beautiful in the world to ride a bike on and I’m sure the TV images that will reach billions of people across the globe will portray this and help the area beyond the event as well.
“It really is an exciting prospect for the area and the atmosphere will be immense.
“I was inspired to take up cycling by watching the tour on TV as a kid and I’m sure this will inspire many others to get out and enjoy riding a bike.”
Williams, who will be heading off for warm weather training before the new UK and European season gets under way, is unlikely to feature in the Tour de France.
“Unfortunately we will not be getting an invite to the tour unless the sponsors step it up a level for 2014 season, but who knows. There may be UK sponsors wanting a team with a start in the tour in addition to Team Sky,” Williams said.