Yorkshire bid for 2016 Tour de France opening stages

image captionLondon hosted the opening stages of the race in 2007

Yorkshire tourist bosses are vying for the right to host the opening stages of the 2016 Tour de France cycle race.

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

The proposed route would take in Leeds, the Yorkshire Dales, Scarborough, York, Hull and Sheffield.

The tourism body Welcome to Yorkshire is leading the bid. It believes hosting the event would raise the region's world profile and boost the economy.

A bid team has visited the organising committee in Paris and plans are under way for the organisers to visit Yorkshire and review the proposed route.

'Advanced talks'

Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity said: "I can confirm that we are having advanced talks to host the Tour de France.

"Those in-depth discussions are ongoing but I can reveal Yorkshire's bid has been positively received by the organising committee at this stage.

"Yorkshire is a world class destination experienced at successfully hosting world class events and we believe it will provide the perfect backdrop to the world's greatest cycle race."

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

It was last held in the UK in 2007 when London and Kent hosted the opening stages.

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