Tourism chiefs in Yorkshire gearing up for the Tour de France said they are starting to get ‘very giddy’ now.
Huge numbers are expected to flock to Yorkshire for a glimpse of cycling stars Sir Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome and Mark Cavendish when the first stage of the Tour takes in Sheffield.
With just seven months to go, organisers of the biggest annual sporting event in the world say the ‘penny’s started to drop’ that it is heading for the UK and is going to be huge.
“We’re starting to get very giddy now,” said Gary Verity, the chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire – the tourism agency that landed the Tour’s Grand Depart 2014.
“With around about six months to go, it’s very real.
“I think the penny’s started to drop with a lot of people.
“The Tour de France has never seen anything like Yorkshire before – and Yorkshire has never seen anything like the Tour de France.
“You put these two things together and you’ve got the recipe for something to be incredibly exciting and I think people are starting to get the gist of that now.
“Yorkshire’s profile has never been higher, and it’s never been higher because the Tour de France is coming here.”
The race starts in Leeds on July 5 and the riders will head out for the Yorkshire Dales before finishing in Harrogate.
The day after, the riders move to York and then head south for Sheffield.
With 3,000 feet of climbing routes, it is set to be the toughest opening stage in the history of the Tour.