Spectator hubs urged to make most of Tour de France

Starbeck, one of the spectator hubs
Starbeck, one of the spectator hubs

A big screen featuring race coverage will be in place at Starbeck when the first

stages of the 2014 Tour de France visit the Harrogate district.

The area has been named, along with Harrogate, Knaresborough, Masham and Ripon, as a key spectator hub along the route.

The community is planning for a funfair at Belmont Fields, as well as entertainment including a musical performance.

Starbeck councillor Janet Law (Lib Dem) said: “I am delighted to hear Starbeck has been identified as a key spectator hub.

“It is great news for the area, and after the news from Britain in Bloom, it tops a great week for the people of Starbeck.”

A public meeting to discuss how Starbeck can make the most of Le Tour will be held at the Working Mens Club on November 14 from 7pm.

And residents are urged to back organisers and create a festival atmosphere when the Tour comes to town.

A total of 190 people attended a Harrogate Borough Council event in Ripley last week to hear the authority’s latest plans on making the most of the event.

A spokesperson said: “We had a really good event with 190 people attending from all different walks of life, from farmers to community groups, to residents and artists, to parish councils, cycling groups and businesses.

“The idea of the event was to give those attending the opportunity to speak to a number of relevant bodies.

“It was an excellent event with a very positive audience.”

Communities were told it is up to them to decide how best to support the big screens with other locally driven activities.

The authority has made predictions for the numbers expected at the event.

On the first day, when Le Tour takes in Harewood, Leyburn, Masham and Ripon on its way from Leeds to a sprint finish in Harrogate, 880,000 spectators are anticipated.

On the second day, when riders take in Knaresborough, Starbeck and Harrogate on the way to Sheffield from York, 1,020,000 are expected.

The Great Yorkshire Show attracts 135,000 people over three days.

Harrogate council has written facet sheets to help those making Tour plans.

Visit its website www.harrogate.gov.uk and keep authorities informed by emailing TDF@harrogate.gov.uk

The exact route of the opening two stages will be revealed soon. Visit www.harrogateadvertiser.co.uk to keep up-to-date with the latest Tour news.