International cycling fans have begun travelling to North Yorkshire to try out the first stage of the 2014 Tour de France.
Riders from mainland Europe and beyond are beginning to plan their July 2014 trip to the Harrogate district, with many already travelling to take on the 190km stage one route from Leeds to Harrogate, via Harewood, Masham and Ripon.
And one Harrogate business owner is giving people the chance to mark their ride permanently.
Owner Dave Burns has decorated a wall in Bed restaurant with the stage one route map, and , using an app, those who tackle the route can write their time on the wall, and aim to secure the fastest time ahead of the start of le Tour.
Dave explained: “People can come and complete stage one across North Yorkshire, and record their time using the Strava cycling app.
“It records rides so you can compare yourself against other people who have done the stage.
“Then, if they come in and show me the record, we can write the time and their name on the yellow strip on the map.
“I will offer a prize to the best time when le Tour comes around.”
When he’s not at the restaurant, cycling fan Dave tests road bikes.
By including Tour memorabilia such as a cap belonging to 2013 champion Chris Froome, he hopes to spread the excitement of le Tour.
He said: “The aim is to increase interest in the Tour de France coming here.
“People are getting excited now, and they are getting to know the route.”
Dave has followed le Tour since he was a child, and is still coming to terms with the idea of the race passing through the district.
He said: “It means the world to me.
“Stage two goes right past my house, I really will be able to open my door and say, bonjour!”
MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough Andrew Jones said: “People are already booking into cycle the route.
“I knew people would come once they saw the television coverage, but people are here already.”