Third Air Ambulance for Tour de Yorkshire

Yellow helicopter Image copyright yorkshire air ambulance
Image caption The third helicopter will fly from RAF Topcliffe near Thirsk

The Yorkshire Air Ambulance is to operate an extra helicopter during the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire cycle race.

The charity said it had decided to operate the third aircraft after its arrangement at the Tour De France's Grand Depart.

It said it had attended more than 30 incidents during the three-day event in Yorkshire last July.

The third helicopter will fly from RAF Topcliffe near Thirsk, where one of its two other aircraft is based.

The other aircraft operates from the Nostell Estate near Wakefield.

Bradley Wiggins

The charity said it expected up to a million spectators to line the route of the three stages of the race, which runs from 1 to 3 May.

The Tour will begin with a stage from Bridlington to Scarborough, followed by Selby to York on 2 May, and Wakefield to Leeds on 3 May.

The charity said it usually responded "to three or four call-outs on a normal weekend" but was expecting to see an increase in the number of tourists to the region.

Capt Andy Lister said: "We know from the amazing success of the Tour de France last year just how popular this first Tour de Yorkshire is likely to be and how much extra operational pressure that may lead to.

"Not only that, it is also a bank holiday weekend so we are also likely to see an increase in tourists to the area too."

There will be more than 500km (310 miles) of racing through Yorkshire over the three days.

Earlier this month, Sir Bradley Wiggins confirmed his intention to ride in the race.

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