Leeds & West Yorkshire

Leeds Arena Tour Maker event for 5,000 volunteers

Tour Maker event at Leeds Arena
Image caption Volunteers are to keep the Tour de France route clear

More than 5,000 Tour de France volunteers to help on the race that starts in Yorkshire have attended an event at Leeds arena.

The roles of the volunteer Tour Makers will be similar to those of the Games Makers at the London Olympics.

They will have information, get spectators to viewing spots and keep the route clear for the riders.

The Tour's Grand Depart takes place in Yorkshire on 5 and 6 July before the race moves to Cambridge and London.

'Blown away'

Flora Marriott, one of the tour volunteers, said she had applied before Christmas for the role.

She said she had done so after being "been blown away" by the 2012 Olympics and the inspiring part played by the Games Makers.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Nicola Adams urged the tour makers to have fun

Being a Tour Maker was "something I can do", she added.

Nicola Adams, Leeds' Olympic boxing champion, attended the orientation day to jokingly tell the volunteers to have fun... "or else!"

Organiser Nicky Roache said being a Tour Maker should be one of the "best days of the volunteers' lives".

Also present was Brian Robinson. The Huddersfield-born cyclist was the first British rider to finish a Tour de France when he completed the race in 1955. He also became the first to win a stage of the famous race.

A 12,000-strong force of volunteers has been selected to help out during the UK stages of the race in July.

More than 20,000 people volunteered for the Yorkshire stages alone, tourist organisation Welcome to Yorkshire previously said.

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