A staggering 26,000 people have signed up to volunteer at Yorkshire’s Grand Départ – an event already set to be one of the biggest highlights of 2014.
People across Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster are among the hordes of Tour Maker hopefuls as the world famous Tour de France hits our county on July 5 and 6.
Tourism organisation Welcome to Yorkshire, which led the bid to bring the Grand Départ to the county, said only 10,000 volunteers were needed but enthusiasm had massively exceeded expectations.
Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “We’ve had an overwhelming response to our call for people to register an interest in becoming a Tour Maker, including from people across South Yorkshire where stage two will of course culminate.
“It clearly demonstrates not only how excited and passionate people are about the Tour de France coming to Yorkshire, but also their willingness to get out there and get involved in volunteering to help make this the grandest of Grand Départs in history.”
Registration for willing Tour Makers closed on New Year’s Eve. Roles up for grabs include everything from welcoming international visitors at major transport hubs to supporting National Park rangers and the emergency services.
The grand depart 2014
The first three stages of this year’s Tour de France all take place in England, and are collectively known as the Grand Départ.
Stage one, on Saturday, July 5, is a 120-mile route from Leeds to Harrogate.
For stage two, the following day, the cyclists will set off from York on a 125-mile ride to Sheffield. The route takes the riders via Huddersfield and Keighley and a number of Sheffield villages and suburbs, including Oughtibridge, Grenoside, Wadsley Bridge, Shirecliffe, Wincobank and Meadowhall to finish outside Sheffield’s Motorpoint Arena in Attercliffe.
For stage three, on Monday, July 7, competitors will set off from Cambridge for a 105-mile ride to central London.