Date: Thursday 5thJune 2014
Four Weeks to the Yorkshire Grand Départ Opening
Ceremony: Be Part of History
The Yorkshire Grand Départ of the Tour de France 2014 kicks off exactly four weeks tonight
with a spectacular Opening Ceremony and Team Presen tation at the Leeds Arena, and a chance for spectators to become a part of history.
Defending champion Chris Froome and sprint sensation Mark Cavendish will be among top cycling stars to greet the crowd on July 3, as Yorkshire welcomes 22 of the world’s best cycling teams in a glittering ceremony showcasing s
ome of the county’s top entertainment talent.
Yorkshire band Embrace will headline the event, which will be their first arena gig since theirrecent sell-out comeback tour and album. Their latest album went straight into the national
album chart at number 5. Originally from Brighouse,Embrace have three number 1 albums,six top ten singles and over two million UK album sales behind them. Embrace frontman Danny McNamara said: “It’s going to be amazing, to have one of the biggest annual sporting events in the world coming to our back yard and to be part of it is nothing short of massive, we're really looking forward to it!"
Girls Aloud star Kimberley Walsh will join York singer/songwriter Alistair Griffin on stage to perform the track he wrote called The Road – the official anthem of Yorkshire's Grand Départ 2014.Kimberley, known the world over for her role in the multi-platinum selling group Girls Aloud, said: “It is going to be a night to remember and one where we make history together, giving the Tour de France a true Yorkshire welcome. Performing at this event with Alistair in our home county is going to be a special moment for me.
To celebrate the collaboration between Yorkshire and France, million selling French singer Pauline Vassuer will sing her hit “Allo le Monde”. The orchestra and chorus of Opera North will perform music specially created for the event
live throughout the ceremony, conducted by composer Philip Sheppard, who composed music for London 2012.
The band Hope & Social with Grassington Festival from Yorkshire Festival 2014, will bring the Tour of infinite Possibility, featuring 100 performers in the Band Anyone Can Join who will sing their Festival Song ‘The Big Wide’.
Executive producer Martin Green, who was Head of Ce remonies at the London 2012 Olympics, said: "We're breaking new ground here for the Tour de France with this ambitious show - it's something much bigger and completely new to the cycling world. With the theme of the event The People of Yorkshire Welcome the World, this will give the riders the entrance they deserve as the Yorkshire Grand Départ celebrations begin."
Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: "We know how enthusiastic millions of people are to make sure they get a chance to be part of the Tour de France coming to Yorkshire and their first opportunity will be at the Opening Ceremony and Team Presentation on Thursday July 3. Thousands of people will be able to see up close and hear from these cycling stars, witnessing a moment in history and making the Tour’s arrival and unforgettable experience."
The show will be broadcast around the world, with a special programme in the UK on ITV 4.Hosts, ITV sports presenter Jill Douglas and the voice of the Tour de France Sebastien Piquet, will interview riders from the teams and Team Sky will parade their top secret Pinarello's Dogma F8 bikes which have been a year in the making and are reportedly the best bikes the team have ever ridden.
Tickets for the not-for-profit event start at £45 upwards (all the highest priced £85 tickets sold out in minutes) and are available at