The tour de france finished with a bang Harrogate in a major way
Kitchen Warehouse LTD, who pride themselves on supplying high quality kitchen units and cabinets at wholesale discounted prices,
were yesterday forced to close their Ripon-based showroom to allow for the passing of nearly two hundred cyclists in the Tour de France. On Saturday July 5th the large showroom, which is found on the A61 just 20 miles north of Leeds, closed its doors as staff and
customers were both unable to circumnavigate the many roads which have been cordoned off surrounding the official route.
The Tour de France is the largest sporting event in the world, bringing in over 2.5 billion television viewers across 188 countries, as well as up to 12 million spectators attending in person. This year the first stage of the race stretched from Leeds to Harrogate, with an 188km route passing just two miles away from the Kitchen Warehouse LTD showroom. With Stage 2 taking the competitors from York to Sheffield, before a third stage between Cambridge and London, the world-famous race will continue abroad and cover an impressive total of 3,500km over the next three weeks.
The atmosphere in Ripon has been absolutely electric, with people of all ages and walks of life showing their excitement in the lead up to the beginning of the event. The race kicked off yesterday at midday, with Prince Harry, Prince William and Kate Middleton giving the cyclists a royal send-off. Other celebrities were also in attendance, including Hollywood heartthrob Brad Pitt – who found fame in films like Fight Club and Ocean’s Eleven, and Britain’s own David and Victoria Beckham.
As well as Royals and celebrities, the world-famous race also brings in up to 2,000 journalists along the route. The media presence has definitely been recognised in Ripon, and is matched only by the excitement of the locals. Despite the inconvenience of closed roads and businesses, both local residents and business owners have each shown enthusiasm at their involvement in what is a once in a lifetime opportunity for cyclists and sports fans alike.
In anticipation of the Tour de France, Ripon has seen major improvements to the local landscape in the past months. Grass verges have been freshly cut and a number of new monuments have appeared around the town, many of which are expected to become landmarks in the near future. Yesterday the cyclists passed the giant image of a lady on a bike, which had been embossed on the side of a hill by many cyclists following the outline of the design –just one of the many new additions to the Yorkshire landscape at this exciting time of the year.
As well as improving the local landscape, the Tour de France is expected to put Yorkshire on the map and make a significant impact on the local economy and future tourist prospects. The iconic race last visited England in 2007, when the route stretched between London and Kent. The event was thought to have brought over £88 million to the local economy, with an additional £35 million of media coverage in the area. Aside from the positive impact that the race has had on the atmosphere in Ripon, any similar results would be a huge advantage to the local community, and could see Yorkshire and its local businesses benefitting from the race for many years into the future.
The Tour de France has now moved on from Ripon, and the participants began the second leg of their journey at 10am today. Although the 198 participants have now left the local roads clear, and business will begin to resume as normal at Kitchen Warehouse LTD and elsewhere, it is expected that the electric atmosphere and positive changes which the race has brought will continue long into the future.