Ripon gets pedalling for Tour de Yorkshire group

Members of the Tour de Ripon committee David Stead, Al Little,  Stuart Martin and Neil Dunkley, with David Sheilds of Welcome to Yorkshire.  (13042235AM)
Members of the Tour de Ripon committee David Stead, Al Little, Stuart Martin and Neil Dunkley, with David Sheilds of Welcome to Yorkshire. (13042235AM)
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A taskforce of Ripon cycling enthusiasts has come together for the first time to launch their Tour de Ripon planning group.

Around 25 people attended a meeting at Ripon’s Community House to share ideas and discuss how to make the most of the Tour de France, which passes through the city next summer.

“As cycling enthusiasts, proud of our city we all want to see Ripon take full advantage of this opportunity,” Ripon cycling fan Alastair Little told the planning group, named Ripon Welcomes Le Tour.

“We have a vision for what we’d like to see happen and this was an opportunity to share ideas and listen to other people’s great thoughts,” he said.

Mr Little was joined by fellow cycling fanatics David Stead, who owns David Stead Gallery on Kirkgate, and Neil Dunkley, owner of Moonglu cycle shop on Blossomgate.

Mr Dunkley told the planning group team: “We’re just a group of cyclists who had some ideas in the pub so if anyone else wants to get involved please come along to the next meeting or get in touch.

“The more people get involved the better we can showcase Ripon.”

Welcome to Yorkshire’s David Shields also attended the meeting, providing context for the size and scale of the event.

Mr Shields said the full itinerary of the day’s activities in Ripon could last up to three and a half hours, with a legion of sponsors and vehicles supporting the event.

Ripon City Development Manager Alan Weston told the Gazette: “It was great to see so many enthusiastic people all wanting to get involved.

“Working together, we can make this both a successful community event and also attract visitors and tourists to the city.”

The first stage of the 101st Tour De France will pass through Ripon on July 5, 2014.

The route will take in Masham, West Tanfield, North Stainley, Ripon and South Stainley, before finishing in Harrogate.

The Government has set aside £10m to help stage the event’s Grand Depart in Yorkshire next year.

– The next Ripon Welcomes Le Tour meeting will take place on Tuesday, May 21 at 6pm at Ripon Community House on Allhallowgate.

For further information about Ripon Welcomes Le Tour or for anyone wanting to discuss the planning group’s work, contact Alan Weston on 01765 601100 or email riponcitydevelopmentmanager@yahoo.co.uk

l For more Tour de France news, turn to Business, page 55.