Knaresborough needs you to shape Tour de France

Le Tour in Knaresborough committee members Lori Handley, Mark Firth, Anne Jones, Tony Handley, Liz Baxandall and Andrew Willoughby. Picture : Adrian Murray. (1309179AM4)

Le Tour in Knaresborough committee members Lori Handley, Mark Firth, Anne Jones, Tony Handley, Liz Baxandall and Andrew Willoughby. Picture : Adrian Murray. (1309179AM4)

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The Tour de France will pass through Knaresborough in July, and plans are in place to ensure the town makes the most of the historic event.

Bunting in the form of t-shirts carrying designs penned by schoolchildren will be draped across the High Street, and a time trial race event is being organised.

The work is being organised by the Le Tour in Knaresborough committee, but now is the time for those in the town to get involved and ensure Knaresborough is ready.

The group will host a public meeting at King James’s School from 7pm on September 26.

The committee is the brainchild of town councillor Tony Handley and member of Renaissance Knaresborough Mark Firth.

Mark said: “Working with themes of cycling, France and our own Knaresborough Heritage we suddenly found a flood of ideas.

“We collected them together and compiled them in a document.

“We felt that this could be the start of something substantial.”

Tony added, “We reckoned that there would be more people with ideas so we decided to create a group.

“Initially we called together many of the people we know from around Knaresborough and met in the pub.

“We found a real enthusiasm for the idea of doing something and making a real splash.”

The idea of the meeting is to give the public a chance to have their say, and get people involved in making the plans reality.

Representatives of Welcome to Yorkshire, Marie Curie Cancer Care, the official charity of the UK stages of the 2014 Tour and Harrogate council will be present.

Ripon-based company ECON will prepare ten yellow bicycles for display in Knaresborough.

Meantime, County Coun Anne Jones is hoping to organise a balloon festival over the skies of the town to mark the end of the 100-day Tour cultural festival.

Coun Jones said: “Subject to the necessary permissions and arrangements I hope to bring this balloon fest to fly over the town over the course of the weekend at the end of May next year as part of the 100 day Tour de France festival.

“I believe that it will make a splendid show and will create a great festival atmosphere as we build to the arrival of the athletes”.

The Tour de France is watched by a global television audience of 3.5 billion people.

The race passes through Knaresborough on Sunday, July 6.