Miliband pushes Yorkshire bid to stage Tour de France

Ed Miliband and Francois Hollande
Image caption Ed Miliband held talks with Francois Hollande at the Elysee Palace in Paris

Labour leader Ed Miliband has used a meeting with the French president to lobby for the Tour de France cycle race to come to Yorkshire.

Mr Miliband, who is MP for Doncaster North, said Francois Hollande "seemed supportive of the idea" when he raised it during talks in Paris.

Yorkshire is bidding against Barcelona, Venice, Berlin and Scotland to host the first two stages of the 2016 race.

Mr Miliband said: "It would be a great thing for it to come to Yorkshire."

The Tour de France is an annual three-week race held in France and neighbouring countries.

Yorkshire support

The first two days of racing, the Grand Depart, are held in a new location outside France every two years.

The Yorkshire stages would run through cities and beauty spots including Leeds, York, Hull, Sheffield, Scarborough and the Yorkshire Dales.

The Labour leader's meeting with the French president came after cyclist Bradley Wiggins became the first Briton to win the Tour de France.

Mr Miliband said: "At the end of the meeting, I mentioned Bradley Wiggins' triumph on Sunday and told the president about the bid being put forward by Yorkshire to host the initial two stages.

"He said the Tour de France had gone through his constituency and I said I was looking forward to it hopefully going through mine.

"He seemed supportive of the idea. I know it's not a decision for him, but it would be a great thing for it to come to Yorkshire."

Yorkshire's bid has won support from 150,000 people, including cyclists Mark Cavendish and Yorkshireman Brian Robinson - the first Briton ever to win a Tour de France stage in 1958.

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