Why we’re thankful you brought the Tour de France to Yorkshire

We’d like to say a special thank you to Gary Verity – the man who convinced France to hand over the first leg of its beloved cycle race to God’s Own Country.

Dear Gary,

After the most momentous weekend in Yorkshire, we’d like to say a huge Yorkshire Pudd thank you for dreaming up the idea that we should host the Grand Depart, and then making it happen.

IMG_2695You inspired Yorkshire’s lovely folk to get out in the streets – all two-and-a-half million of us – and wear our hearts on our sleeves and watch the world’s biggest cycle race. Because of that, the Tour de France will be held dear forever.

There was something else we were cheering for on the route on Saturday and Sunday. It was pride. Pride in our beautiful Yorkshire. We got to show off our warm welcome that are so rightly famous for.

Thank you for loving your own county as much as we do, and for believing in it to pull this off. We’ve had an absolute ball. Here we’d like to say why we will always be thankful to you for our memories of this weekend, and for bringing the Tour de France home to Yorkshire.

1. We got to show the world our beauty
Of course, us Yorkshire folk know how stunning our county is, and how lucky we are to live surrounded by such natural beauty. But the Tour de France meant we got to show the rest of the country, and the world, just how breathtaking our villages, moors, hills, mountains and waters are.

2. We got to have a carnival
So our winters might be harsher up north, but this means that we’re more than ready to get out and party as soon as summer arrives. We’ve hibernated for long enough, so this weekend we really went for it. We embraced the colour yellow and showed Rio how it’s done.

3. We got to open our hearts
It must be the afore-mentioned scenery that makes us a rather happy, relaxed and content county (most of the time), and we were delighted to extend our affection to France and its famous event. We embraced the Tour de France and we’ll love it forever now it’s part of us.

4. We got to be a community
We feel like one big family in Yorkshire anyway, but modern-day life makes the reality of remaining a county with close-knit communities rather tricky. But this weekend, we came together. We tied bunting to each other’s houses, our children played in the streets, we worked together and celebrated together.

5. We showed that we’re fantastic hosts and our officials are first class
The Grand Depart was a major feat of organisation and it was done with class and finesse. A huge success for the excellent organisers, councils, emergency services and everyone else involved who did a wonderful job.

Thank you Gary, and to everyone else who made this happen for Yorkshire. We won’t forget it!

Love Yorkshire Pudd x

  • Crowds gather for stage 2 of the tour de France cote de ripponden

Special thank you
We would like to say thank you to Bonne Maman for inviting us along to be part of its VIP party for the tour on Saturday. An eye-watering 6:30am start was well worth what they had in store for us – a tour of the team buses and meeting the teams and riders through to the VIP Village in Millennium Square, Leeds.

After that we were whisked away in the Bonne Maman minibus that came with shouts of ‘Jam’ wherever we went, regardless of the fact we were actually there to promote Bonne Maman Cakes and Biscuits (a must try, they are delicious).

We took in the full route of Stage 1, tucked nicely behind the official caravan and just in front of the riders! The crowds were amazing. Our driver Patrick commented that in 14 years of doing every stage of every tour he’s never seen anything like the crowds in Yorkshire. When pressed on his thoughts on the landscapes of Yorkshire it was our dry stone walls that had put the biggest smile of his face, he just loves them!

We finished our day with Bonne Maman 20m before the finish line in Harrogate. What a truly fantastic day!

One last thing
We’d like to kick off a campaign to get Gary Verity an honour from the Queen. Get behind our campaign by leaving your messages of support and thanks in our comment box at the bottom of this page!