Big Announcements For Yorkshire: Barlow and Bradley

The biggest names in cycling will be taking part in the first ever Tour de Yorkshire, and it has been revealed Gary Barlow is writing a Yorkshire musical it's part of plans to promote Yorkshire in 2015.

Tour De Yorkshire Launch Ben Swift

The Welcome to Yorkshire Y 15 event at Scarborough Spa saw the announcement of the teams for the new international cycle race?. It was revealed that the biggest names in cycling will compete including Team Sky, Team Giant Alpecin and Team Wiggins. There will be 16 teams in total with over 100 riders taking part.

Tour de France 2012 winner Sir Bradley is set to lead his own Team Wiggins development squad while Marcel Kittel is set to return to Yorkshire nearly a year after wearing the first yellow jersey in Harrogate in the Tour de France 2014.

Former England cricket star Matt Prior announced his team, ONE Pro Cycling, will also be taking part, and said: "We are incredibly excited and proud to be racing in the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire, particularly in our first year. The Grand Départ in Yorkshire was a huge inspiration for us setting up this team as it showed the level of interest there is in cycling and racing in the UK. Our riders will be massively looking forward to being on the start line with some of the biggest teams in the world."

Christian Prudhomme, Director of the Tour de France, said:  

'We will be glad to return to Yorkshire after the huge success of the Tour de France 2014 Grand Départ, the grandest ever. The first ever Tour de Yorkshire will be another occasion to showcase the outstanding landscapes of the county, especially of the coast where we didn't go last year with Le Tour. Tour de Yorkshire will be a great opportunity to review young talents among British riders and enable them to ride with top Tour de France professional teams and cycling stars like Sir Bradley Wiggins and Marcel Kittel.'

One of the first major names confirmed as taking part in the women's race on day two is Dame Sarah Storey, one of Great Britain's most decorated female Paralympians in history having won 11 Gold, eight Silver and three Bronze medals across six Paralympic Games. In 2014 Sarah and her husband established women's team Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International, which dominated the UK domestic racing scene in their first season and, it has been announced today, will be racing the Women's Tour de Yorkshire.

The Tour de Yorkshire will take place on May 1-3. Stage 1 on Friday May 1 starts in Bridlington and finishes in Scarborough. Stage 2 on Saturday May 2 starts in Selby and finishes in York with a women's race also on day two. Stage 3 on Sunday May 3 starts in Wakefield and finishes in Leeds.

The race will be shown live on television in the UK on ITV, on Eurosport and in more than 70 countries around the world - a huge television audience is expected.

?It was also revealed that Take That star Gary Barlow is penning a new stage musical based on the Calendar Girls, and will be backed by Welcome to Yorkshire.

The musical will be officially launched near the Calendar Girls' home in Burnsall in the Yorkshire Dales, when more details will be announced.

Welcome to Yorkshire also announced that their garden design for RHS Chelsea Flower Show has been accepted. Designed by Lee Bestall, it will feature a microbrewery theme and will highlight not only the great gardens in the county but also the impressive range of micro breweries when it goes on display at the prestigious garden show in May.

The tourism agency unveiled two major marketing campaigns for Yorkshire in 2015. A rural campaign will launch in June to promote the Yorkshire countryside at its best across the UK on television and in cinemas. The year-long campaign will encompass all that is great about Yorkshire's amazing outdoors.

There will also be a new international marketing campaign, part of the GREAT campaign, working closely with Visit Britain to promote Yorkshire in the run up to the Tour de Yorkshire, particularly in France, Germany and the Netherlands.

A new film to promote the county and the new international cycle race was premiered at the Y 15 event, featuring breath-taking aerial footage of iconic locations - building on Welcome to Yorkshire's innovative use of film to promote the county as a "must see" destination for visitors from within the UK and overseas.

Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: 

'Our aim is for the Tour de Yorkshire to be one of the biggest and best three-day races in the world and this incredible line-up is evidence that we can achieve that. It's a testament to our county that some of the top riders in the world want to come here. We are going to put on a show people will remember for the rest of their lives, whether they're lining the route or watching on TV as it is broadcast to countries around the world.

"To have someone of Gary Barlow's calibre working on a Yorkshire musical is amazing and I am sure, like the Calendar Girls film and the stage play, this musical will be a huge success.

"We've talked for several years about Yorkshire's potential as a county and as a destination - and now our collective ambitions and dreams are becoming a reality. There must be millions of people around the world who now know of Yorkshire, who didn't a couple of years ago - we're firmly front of mind. Our ground-breaking work builds on that and together we will cement Yorkshire's place on the world stage as a visitor destination."

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