Tour de France champion Chris Froome has given a glowing endorsement to The Star’s Let’s Get Cycling campaign.
The hottest property in cycling has added his voice to the growing number of superstars backing our bid to get the region on their bikes.
The Grand Depart of the Tour de France, which has a stage finish in Sheffield on July 6, offers the best chance yet to create a two-wheeled legacy for the whole county.
And who better to give us a glowing endorsement than the man to beat when the tape goes up on the first stage of this year’s race in Leeds on Saturday, July 5.
Froome won the Tour de France last year in glorious fashion, rising to the top of the iconic Mont Ventoux and claiming two more stage wins en route to a dominant victory.
He also won a bronze medal in the Olympic time trial at London 2012, just days after finishing second in what was only his second Tour de France.
Froome said of our Let’s Get Cycling campaign: “Whatever level you’re at, whatever your interest, get involved.
“Dust off the old bike from the garden shed and get out there and show your support to this fantastic scheme.
“That’s what cycling is all about, enjoying being out on the bike and enjoying being out in nature and we want to see more people out on the roads.
“Even for cyclists at our level, it gives us an added incentive when we see people out on their bikes enjoying the sport and the hobby, so get out there and show your support.”
Froome headlines a star-studded peloton at this year’s Tour de France, when 22 teams of 198 cyclists will roll down the start ramp in Leeds on that first stage into Harrogate. Then on day two, the cyclists wind their way from York to Sheffield via Holmfirth.
“This is the best time to get inspired by cycling and as professionals the Tour de France in Yorkshire is something we are really looking forward to,” said the 28-year-old, who rode for Great Britain at the Olympics.
Froome has already underlined his reputation as overwhelming favourite when the biggest bike race on the planet gets underway this summer by claiming victory at the Tour of Oman last month, and from tomorrow he rides the revered Tirreno-Adriatico seven-day stage race in Italy.
Froome joins his fellow Olympic medallist Lizzie Armitstead in voicing his desire to see the Tour de France have a lasting legacy for everyone from club cyclist to the person in the street.
To help our campaign we are calling on families, schools, communities and businesses across the region to get involved in our landmark initiative which aims to encourage a Tour de France cycling legacy that will see scores more people take to two wheels.
We want everyone from seasoned cyclists to students who cycle to school or college and business people who ride to work to share their cycling stories and pictures with us, so we can encourage others to get in the saddle.
Through a series of how-to guides, special reports, giveaways and competitions published both online and in print, we’re determined to help the cycling legacy of Le Tour flourish in our region.
Backed by everyone from health organisations and local authorities to cycling superstars and Grand Depart organisers, Let’s Get Cycling aims to help change the fact that at present only 13 per cent of people in Yorkshire get on their bike on a monthly basis.