Schoolchildren in North Yorkshire’s three host towns for 2019’s Tour de Yorkshire are looking forward to enjoying a stage finish of next year’s cycle race.
Selby, Bedale and Scarborough were announced as stage finishes when the full route for the four-day event was revealed by organisers Amaury Sport Organisation and Welcome to Yorkshire today (Friday, 7 December). This is Bedale’s first time as a host town.
There to hear the news were pupils from Selby Abbey CE Primary School, Mowbray School in Bedale and Barrowcliff School, Scarborough, who were proud representatives in T-shirts spelling out their towns’ names.
Mowbray School teacher Ben Noble said: "Last year, when the race passed through Bedale, the children produced a land art structure and got to watch the race, too, which they were really excited about. They just love cycling. The Tour connects seamlessly with our outdoor education and PE curriculum, which flourishes within the school.
"Next year, we’d like to increase our participation. We’d like to do a sponsored ride, I think, that would raise money for charity as well as for our own charity, which buys the bikes that the kids use, because we have such a diverse need for bikes at the school, including trikes and rear-steer bikes, so that every child has an opportunity to take part in a cycling activity.
"The children that attended the announcement are particularly passionate cyclists. They have attended the after-school mountain biking club and the cycling club at school, or they are weekend cyclists. They are all passionate about cycling."
Selby Abbey CE Primary School is already planning celebrations. School home support worker Lisa Beaston said: “The pupils are proud to be part of the Tour de Yorkshire celebrations by representing their home town of Selby.
"We are planning numerous events to mark the occasion. We will promote use of the local bike library to ensure all children can have access to a bike. Children will be invited to wear yellow or green for the day at a picnic lunch and we’ll ask Power Down Pete from the County Council to bring the smoothie bike and energy bike into school for the children to experience. Bike 360, a cycling display team, will bring their stunt bikes into school to perform for the children.
"We plan to join the community’s celebrations by decorating the front of the school with yellow painted bikes and our knitting club will knit cycle jersey bunting."
Mark Rogers, head teacher of Barrowcliff School, said: “Our children are excited about the Tour de Yorkshire coming to Scarborough again. It is good to see our children interested in something that is different and exciting and shows Scarborough in such a brilliant light. The children that we asked to attend the announcement were really excited to represent Scarborough and to get on stage to promote the town.
"In the past, we have celebrated the fact that the Tour de Yorkshire is coming and have done work around the Tour. It is something to which we can attach a lot of our curriculum areas – maths, geography, art, English, they can all be linked to the Tour. It is something we focus on and promote within our school and community because we don’t want our children to miss out on it."
Once again, more than half the route over the four days of racing from 2 May to 5 May will be in North Yorkshire.
North Yorkshire County Council leader Councillor Carl Les said: "It’s wonderful to see the children’s enthusiasm and the way the Tour is embraced by the schools. I’m confident this will be repeated across communities throughout the county.
“North Yorkshire now has a reputation for its colourful celebrations of cycle races. I’m sure people will once again line the streets, decorate bikes and buildings and present wonderful art."
Independent research showed that this year’s Tour boosted the Yorkshire economy by £98m. A record 2.6 million spectators lined the route and overall spending was up 54 per cent.
Cllr Les added: "The Tour brings significant economic benefits to local businesses, both from the spectators and the accompanying global media coverage. The benefits far outweigh the small amount of disruption, so let’s again make the most of this opportunity."
The County Council is working with partners – including the organisers, district councils and emergency services – to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum and that visitors and residents can enjoy the event safely. Most of the route will see rolling road closures, which generally last no more than an hour. Start and finish areas and some climbs are likely to see longer closures to ensure spectators and racers are safe. Further details will be available nearer the race on the council’s website, www.northyorks.gov.uk/tour. Full route details are at letour.yorkshire.com.
Cllr Les said: “We now have substantial experience of managing roads and traffic during world class cycling events, so are well-placed to ensure the safety of spectators and minimise disruption to people’s daily lives.”