Olympic experience of Harrogate Tour chief

Chris Froome leads Team Sky round 'Cragg Vale' corner in the Tour de France stage 4 Team Time Trial in Nice.  2 July 2012.  Picture Bruce Rollinson
Chris Froome leads Team Sky round 'Cragg Vale' corner in the Tour de France stage 4 Team Time Trial in Nice. 2 July 2012. Picture Bruce Rollinson

The former Harrogate student charged with delivering the English stages of the 2014 Tour de France expects the event to eclipse the 2012 Olympic torch relay.

Nicky Roche, who grew up in the town and attended Harrogate Grammar School, was part of team that delivered London 2012.

Last month, we revealed Nicky had been named Chief Executive of organising committee TdF 2014 Ltd.

Speaking exclusively to the Harrogate Advertiser series, Nicky explained how she felt the two events may overlap.

She said: “In terms of people watching, we can expect very large crowds, not to mention the 3.9 billion who will be watching worldwide on television.

“The Olympics happened over a number of days, and took in a number of sporting events, so they are very different.

“But I think after the torch relay last year, people have a sense of what it may be like, but on a bigger scale.

“The Tour is the most watched annual TV event in the world.”

The former Director of Operations at the government’s Olympic Executive explained the role of TdF 2014 Ltd.

Nicky said: “The company has been set up to coordinate development of the Tour in Yorkshire, Cambridge and Essex.

“It will conduct local authorities, highways agencies and help people meet the right deadlines.”

She added: “We have 41 weeks to go.

“There is enough time to do it. There is always a lot to do with events such as this, and people are very committed.”

The effect hosting the Tour will have in the town for years to come is not lost on a proud Nicky.

She said: “Having the first finish in Harrogate means it will be quite magical.

“Domestically and internationally, it is about showcasing what Harrogate has to offer.

“People across the world will see the Stray, Montpellier and Ripon Road. And they will want to come to live and work in the area.

“They’ll remember it for the rest of their lives.

“People will talk about the day the Tour came here.”