Plans for professional 'Tour of Yorkshire' cycle race

Chris Froome and Richie Porte cycling through Haworth The race would welcome some of the "world's best riders" back to Yorkshire, organisers say

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Plans for an annual "Tour of Yorkshire" cycle race could see some of the world's top cyclists return to the county.

If approved by UCI, the world governing body for cycling, the inaugural three-day race would be held on 1-3 May 2015.

Welcome to Yorkshire and Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) said it would be a "breathtaking new race in a region made for cycling".

UCI is expected to make a decision in September.

The route would include areas that are not part of this year's Tour de France, which starts in Leeds on Saturday.

'Cycling heartland'

The application is for a 2.1 UCI Europe Tour event, which would mean some of the world's leading cyclists returning to Yorkshire on an annual basis.

Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity said: "When we bid to host the Tour de France we did so in the knowledge that this would be the start of a long relationship with ASO.

"Our county is a new cycling heartland of Europe and we look forward to welcoming back some of the world's best riders in Yorkshire in less than 12 months' time."

Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour de France, said: "Alongside the public interest for cycling, highlighted by the Grand Départ, Yorkshire boasts beautiful breathtaking scenery worthy of any of the cycling season's major events.

"It therefore seems perfectly natural for Welcome to Yorkshire, British Cycling and ASO to continue working together in this new land of cycling, through the Tour of Yorkshire."

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