The organiser of the UK leg of the 2014 Tour de France has released a report saying it is ready to stage the world’s biggest annual sporting event. In six months the Tour de France will start in Yorkshire and work its way towards London, via Cambridge. TDFHUB2014 confirmed that plans to deliver the event on time and within budget are on track.
Achievements so far include finalising the route and budget, establishing operational plans and clear governance arrangements, and preparation for recruiting the ‘Tour Maker’ volunteers.
The Grand Depart was last held in the UK in 2007 in Kent, where it generated an estimated £90m for the UK economy. The Tour in 2014 will cover 349 miles of UK roads and spectator crowds along the route are estimated to be in the millions, making it one of the biggest free sports events ever to be held in the UK.
Liz Nicholl, UK Sport Chief Executive said: "UK Sport welcomes this first progress report from TdfHUB2014 Ltd, the company we established to co-ordinate the government’s significant financial contribution towards the safe and successful delivery of the Tour de France Grand Depart. We have every confidence that the partners involved in delivering this iconic major event will make the nation proud of our hosting abilities and will deliver a platform to inspire further engagement and participation in one of our most successful Olympic and Paralympic sports."
Sir Rodney Walker, Chair of TDF2014HUB Ltd said: "A huge amount has been achieved since it was announced that England would host the world’s most prestigious cycle race in 2014. This is thanks to the hard work and collaborative approach of all the partners involved.
"The publication of [our] report demonstrates that we on track to deliver a spectacular sporting event in six months that the country can be proud of. However, we are not complacent as there is still a long road ahead and many challenges.
"This is shaping up to be the UK’s biggest ever free sport event, and the economic benefit will be in excess of £100 million. I would urge all businesses to seize the opportunity and make the most of the UK being centre stage once again."
Gary Verity, Joint Vice Chair of TdFHUB2014 Ltd and Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: "When Welcome to Yorkshire secured the Grand Départ just over a year ago we knew how much it would mean to the county, its people and its businesses. With six months to go we are in a great position to ensure the whole country now benefits from hosting the greatest cycle race on the planet and to make it the highlight of a world class weekend of sport for this country."
Cllr Keith Wakefield, Joint Vice Chair of TdFHUB2014 Ltd and Leader of Leeds City Council, said: "The eyes of the world will turn to Leeds for the Grand Depart and this report shows just how much hard work and dedication has already gone into making sure we are ready to host the start of world’s biggest annual sporting event.
"We know that there is still a lot of work to do, but we are confident that our city and our region are on track to ensure this will be a thrilling occasion that will leave behind a truly memorable legacy for Leeds and Yorkshire."
Minister for Sport and Tourism, Helen Grant MP said: "Plans are progressing well for the Grand Depart in Yorkshire and third stage from Cambridge to London. Hosting the beginning of the biggest bike race in the world will bring a great tourism win for those areas and will further cement Britain’s love for the sport of cycling."
Later this month Tour’s procurement plan for the UK stages will be published.