|French President François Hollande Endorses Yorkshire's Tour de France Bid|
Wednesday, 25 July 2012 15:02
Yorkshire's bid to host the start of the 2016 Tour de France has been handed a boost after French President François Hollande indicated his support.
The Yorkshire bid team were in Paris at the weekend as Bradley Wiggins became the first Briton to win cycling's greatest event.
They have already had over 150,000 pledges of support and the Telegraph reports President Hollande offering his support during a meeting in Paris with Labour leader Ed Miliband, who is MP for Doncaster North.
Mr Miliband raised Bradley Wiggins' triumph in the Tour and the bid by Yorkshire to bring the bike race to the North of England with President Hollande.
"The president was 'very supportive'," Mr Miliband was quoted as saying afterwards by the Telegraph, adding: "It would be a good thing for Yorkshire. It would be a great thing for my constituency. I am backing le bid."
Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, who is leading the bid to bring the Tour de France to the county was understandably delighted by the news, told Sky Sports: "We have strong cross-party political support within the county to make this happen and now we have the support of President François Hollande, which is great news for our bid.
"Yorkshire is seen by many as the spiritual heartland of cycling in the UK, we have the cycling heritage, we have the champions and we are race ready to host Le Tour. It would be an honour to bring the race back to England and host it in our great county and we are working hard to make that happen."