The reigning Tour de France champion Chris Froome gave his support to the first ever volunteer force to accompany a Grand Départ and urged more people nationally to sign up.
The Team Sky rider, who will start the defence of his yellow jersey in Leeds on 5th July, said: “I’d say to everyone ‘come and become part of it’. The Tour is like a big carnival and this is your chance. It’s really exciting that the race is coming to the UK and to be a part of it will be amazing – it’s your Tour!”
Froome’s support follows that of the Deputy Prime Minister Rt Hon Nick Clegg who helped launch the partnership with Yorkshire-based supermarket giant ASDA to recruit, train and provide bespoke uniforms for the final 10,000 Tour Maker volunteers.
Rt Hon Nick Clegg, said: “You can already sense the buzz and excitement right across the country as we get ever closer to Yorkshire’s Grand Départ – and the launch of the Tour Makers and the public’s response to it already is evidence of that. I would urge anyone interested in this scheme to put their names forward now. The eyes of the world will be on Yorkshire when the peloton sets off from Leeds and spends two days racing around the county before finishing in Sheffield, and then racing from Cambridge to London. It promises to be an historic, spectacular event and really cements our nation as a global sporting leader.”
Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire – which led the winning bid to bring the Tour de France to the UK – said: “To have a legend like Chris get behind our Tour Makers scheme is nothing short of inspirational to us and everyone involved. The time is now to step forward for those who want to be part of one of the biggest sporting events in living memory in Yorkshire and our country.”
Stephen Smith, Chief Marketing Officer at Asda, said: “To have Chris’ backing and encouragement for people to get involved is incredible and what a catalyst for people to sign up. We are proud of our Yorkshire roots and honoured Asda is to be involved in this first for the Tour de France and we can’t wait to get started.”
Tour Makers’ roles could include lining the route, welcoming visitors and supporting the emergency and National Parks services.
Tour Maker volunteers are being sought nationwide to cover all three UK stages of the race. The Yorkshire Grand Départ will race from Leeds to Harrogate on July 5, York to Sheffield on July 6, and a third stage will race from Cambridge to the capital London on July 7.
Anyone interested in volunteering for any of the stage three of the race can still register at www.letouryorkshire.com/volunteer before 20 January 2014.