Sir Gary Verity gives Tour de France talk

Sir Gary Verity talks to the audience at the Influence Church.

Welcome to Yorkshire, Sir Gary Verity, revealed how he attracted the Grand Depart to Yorkshire at a talk in Richmond this week.

The event, which was organised by the Richmond and District Civic Society and Original Richmond, Richmond Business and Tourism Association (RBTA) focussed on how Sir Gary attracted the stage to the region and the benefits it had brought to the area.

The audience at the Influence Church heard how Tour de France organisers and cyclists were overwhelmed by the support for the race in Yorkshire and Sir Gary, realising the potential for cycling in Yorkshire, pushed to have an annual cycling event that would put Yorkshire in front of the world’s television cameras.

This year Richmond is host to the start of the Tour de Yorkshire Market Towns race day, with cyclists leaving the town, heading out through Catterick, over the moor to Leyburn.

From Leyburn the race continues to Bedale, Northallerton, Thirsk, Helmsley – following the stiff climb up Sutton Bank – and on to Kirby Moorside and Pickering, ending in Scarborough.

Sir Gary Verity, Marcia McLuckie and John McDonald.

Sir Gary was welcomed by chair of Richmond and District Civic Society, John McDonald, who stressed the importance for Richmond of maximising the effect of the Tour to expand the town’s tourism.

In thanking Sir Gary for his talk, Marcia McLuckie, chair of the RBTA talked about the benefits of all working together, particularly highlighting the joint work between Town and District Councils and the Tour de Yorkshire group of businesses and community, as well as Yorkshire in Bloom, which Richmond has entered this year and is led by the RBTA working closely with town council.

Sir Gary finished his talk by talking about the legacy of the tour, particularly highlighting the benefit to children through the new Cycle Libraries.

57,000 Yorkshire children have had the opportunity to ride a bike in the last 12 months, where previously many of these young people would not have had the opportunity.

The third day of this year’s Tour de Yorkshire Richmond starts in Richmond on Saturday 5 May.