Thousands volunteer for Yorkshire leg of Tour de France

The race will spend two days in Yorkshire in July 2014

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Nearly 8,000 people have now signed up to help out on the Yorkshire leg of the Tour de France in 2014.

Tourism authority Welcome to Yorkshire said the volunteers, called Le Tour Makers, would line the route of the Grand Depart, which will be announced on Thursday.

Leeds will host the start of the race on 5 July 2014. The event will spend two days in Yorkshire.

Former Leeds Mayor Keith Loudon said it was a "once in a lifetime opportunity".

'Spectacular'

Cyclist Peter Addison-Child, from Farsley in Leeds, is one of the thousands who have applied to help.

He said: "If it's standing by the roadside just keeping things clear... I don't mind.

Mark Cavendish backed Yorkshire's bid to host the Grand Depart

"The Tour's a massive event in Europe and now we're going to see in this country how big it is as well."

Welcome to Yorkshire described the level of interest as a "brilliant response".

Mark Cavendish, who in 2011 became the first British rider in the history of the Tour to win the green jersey for the best sprinter, said he had backed Yorkshire's bid.

"To be able to race the biggest bike race in the world in your home country is pretty spectacular.

"My mother was born in Harrogate so I've been there many times, I've ridden my bike there and it's a great place to ride a bike."

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