Besançon is twinned with Kirklees in Yorkshire, birthplace of Brian Robinson, first Brit to win a stage of the Tour de France.

Yorkshire’s bid for Le Tour resonates in Besançon today

Yorkshire is spearheading a bid to host the Grand Depart of Tour de France. Today’s time trial stage ends in Besançon and the Yorkshire bid team is stressing that the French town is twinned with Kirklees, near Huddersfield, birthplace of Brian Robinson, the first Brit to finish the Tour de France (this was in 1955; Tony Hoar, another Brit, also finished the Tour that year).

A statement from the bid team said:

"Embracing the fantastic scenery of the countryside in the Yorkshire Dales and Moors, the coastline around Scarborough and the Humber, as well as many of Yorkshire’s great cities, the county will be an excellent starting point to the world’s greatest cycle race.

Yorkshire’s bid enjoys wide ranging support from MPs from across the political divide as well as local councils and British professional riders.

“My Mum is from Yorkshire so I’m proud to be backing the Yorkshire 2016 bid," said sprint star Mark Cavendish.

"It would be fantastic if the world’s greatest cycle race could come to Yorkshire, I’m sure it would host a stunning Grand Départ."

Edinburgh also wishes to stage a Tour de France Grand Départ.

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