- It is estimated that a record-breaking 3.5 million Brits witnessed most successful start to the 2014 Tour de France
- Tour organisers ASO so impressed by the hosting of the Grand Depart and stage three they guarantee Tour return to British soil in the future
- With a further 70 world class events targeted as part of UK Sport’s Gold Event Series the British public can continue to be inspired by witnessing the best of British on their #RoadtoRio
The resounding success of the Grand Depart and stage three of the Tour de France 2014 hosted in Britain is a testament to the legacy of the London 2012 Games and GB’s event hosting abilities that once again allowed the nation to take pride in a world class event with guarantees of hosting future Tours to come.
Drawing spectators from all corners of the globe – not least the British public who were able to witness the iconic Tour taking place on home soil and cheer on iconic figures from the world of cycling including some of the best of British talent in Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas, Simon Yates and Mark Cavendish.
British Cycling is one of the major success stories of the British high performance system developed by UK Sport and underpinned by critical National Lottery investment, which saw Team GB and ParalympicsGB secure third place in the London 2012 medal table. Sustained success in the velodrome and on the road at the Games has led to a golden era for British Cyclists at all levels, from grass roots to elite, and under Sir David Brailsford – a pioneer in his time within the National Lottery funded UK high performance system - led to the historic achievements of Team Sky, with Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome winning the last two Tours in emphatic style.
As the riders continue their pursuit of the Tour, moving to Le Touquet-Paris-Plage for the start of stage four, and normal proceedings are resumed, the UK can feel proud to have successfully hosted one of sport’s most iconic events with confirmation from organisers ASO that Le Tour will return to Great Britain in the future.
Until that time the British public can enjoy many more world class sporting events hosted on British soil and supported through UK Sport ‘s Gold Event Series including many of the all-important qualifying events for our British Olympic and Paralympic athletes in their pursuit of medals at the Rio Games in 2016. Events such as:
- World Canoe Slalom Championships in Broxbourne, London (2015)
- World IPC Swimming Championship in Glasgow (2015)
- European Judo Championships in Glasgow (2015)
- European Eventing Championships in Blair Castle, Perth (2015)
- European Boccia Championships in London (2015)
- European Hockey Championships in London (2015)
- World Artistic Gymnastics Championship in Glasgow (2015)
- European Modern Pentathlon Championships in Bath (2015)
- European Wheelchair Basketball Championships in Worcester (2015)
- European Archery Championships in Nottingham (2016)
- UCI World Cycling Track Championships in London (2016)
- European Swimming Championships in London (2016)
In fact 70 Gold Events are being targeted following the successful hosting of the London 2012 Games with more than half already secured.
- 1 Gold Series Event successfully hosted
- 1st ever 100 day cultural festival in the Tour’s 111 year history hosted in the run up to the Grand Depart across 6,000 square miles of Yorkshire involving 7,000 participants and attracting over 750,000 people to 1,400 events
- 2 British winners of the Tour de France 2012 & 2013
- 3rd - UK’s position on the Global Event Index
- An estimated 3.5 million spectators of the Grand Depart including stages 1-3 in GB
- 4 British athletes from UK Sport’s World Class Performance Programme line up for the start of the Tour: Chris Froome, Mark Cavendish, Geraint Thomas and Simon Yates
- Up to 10k volunteers appointed as Tour Makers to marshall the route and support spectators
- 23 dedicated spectator hubs and fan parks established across all 3 stages enabling the public to experience the tour safely.
- £27m investment into staging all 3 stages of the Tour in GB including: £10m government funding through UK Sport and £6m from TfL for stage 3.
- 70Km of official tour bunting lining the route – and many kilometres more of homemade bunting
- £100m+ economic return anticipated from staging the event in Great Britain.
- 124 athletes currently supported by UK Sport and National Lottery funding on Cycling and Para Cycling’s world class programme
- £350m of National Lottery investment into Summer Olympic and Paralympic sports to be the first nation to win more medals in both the Olympic and Paralympic Games post-hosting #RoadtoRio
- 546.5Km the distance covered by tour riders over all 3 stages from Leeds to London
Minister for Sport and Tourism Helen Grant said: “The Tour de France in the UK was an incredible success and once again showcased how well we put on major sporting events in this country. It was fantastic to see such huge crowds supporting the race in Yorkshire, Cambridge, Essex and London. It showed the passion Britain has for cycling and will have inspired many to take up the sport. I would like to thank all the stakeholders and partners involved for their dedication and hard work on a world-class event that will live long in the memory.”
Liz Nicholl, CEO of UK Sport said: “I want to pay tribute to all the key organisations and individuals who have made the hosting of the 2014 Grand Depart: stages 1, 2 and 3 from Leeds to London such a resounding success assuring our track record as a nation for the hosting of world class sporting events and helping to inspire the nation through sporting success. And, finally to our British athletes taking part in the Tour who have made the nation so proud through their world class performances and who we will continue to follow and support their progress on their Road to Rio.”
London’s Transport Commissioner, Sir Peter Hendy CBE said: “The amazing crowds lining the route of all three stages demonstrates the enthusiasm and support for cycling in this country. We had a fantastic day celebrating in London and I fully expect to see the streets of London, Cambridge, Essex and Yorkshire filled with more people taking to two wheels off the back of this event, delivering a great cycling legacy for all. We wish the riders the best of luck as they take on the rest of the Tour and we look forward to welcoming it back again with another unforgettable Grand Départ as soon as we can!”
Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, who won the bid to bring the Tour de France to the UK, said: “Christian Prudhomme, the director of the Tour de France, said the Yorkshire Grand Départ was the biggest and greatest in the history of the Tour de France and five-time Tour champion Bernard Hinault said he had never seen crowds like the ones he saw over two days in Yorkshire in over 40 years in the sport. You cannot get a better appraisal than that. Millions of people lined the two Yorkshire stages and set the tone for some great scenes on Stage Three too. The Tour is definitely in the hearts of the people of Yorkshire and Yorkshire is in the hearts of the people at Le Tour and we would be proud to once again work with, and welcome back, the greatest cycle race in the world.”
Chair of TdFHUB2014 Ltd Sir Rodney Walker said: “I would like to thank ASO plus all our partners including local authorities, police and emergency services, transport providers, UK Sport, Welcome to Yorkshire and Transport for London for all their hard work. Over these three days, we have shown what can be achieved when organisations come together with a common purpose.
“Most of all, I would like to thank the very many local communities and businesses that have worked with us to embrace the Tour. Across all three stages, community support and enthusiasm provided a great British welcome to a very French event.
“It has been a really special three days that I will never forget. As a nation we have shown again that Britain delivers the world’s biggest sporting events in style and I look forward to seeing more major sporting occasions like this being held in the UK in the years to come.”
British Cycling president Bob Howden said: “The huge crowds that have watched the Tour de France on each of the three days it has been in Britain, demonstrate the appetite there is for cycling in this country.
“Our great sport is attracting more fans all the time and we are working exceptionally hard to provide opportunities for people inspired by the likes of Chris Froome to get on their bikes and get active.”
Cllr Noel Kavanagh – Cycling Champion at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: "Hosting the start of Stage 3 of the Tour de France truly was a day like no other. In its long and rich history, I don't think Cambridge has ever witnessed such amazing crowds or the incredible excitement and electric atmosphere which I am proud to have been able to witness. The day would not have been possible without the efforts of so many people and they deserve immense credit for the work they did to help create so many unforgettable memories. Good luck to all the riders for the rest of the Tour - it was a pleasure and a privilege to have been part of your journey."
Cllr Richard Johnson, Executive Councillor for Community, Arts & Recreation at Cambridge City Council, said: "We always knew cycling was in the DNA of Cambridge but yesterday we saw faces young and old beaming with excitement as the Tour de France came to town. From dawn to dusk there was an incredible feeling throughout the city and county as we welcomed the world's greatest annual sporting event. Looking now at the images of the day - all you see are eyes lit up with wonder and faces full of joy as the riders made their way along the route. The only shame is that the day seemed to pass too quickly but we know that people witnessed events they will cherish forever and we are very proud to have helped so many people enjoy their day.”