Tour de France photos sought for online archive

Photos and memories from when the world's biggest cycle race came to Yorkshire are being collected to create a permanent record of the event.

In July 2014 the county hosted the first two stages of the Tour de France, with more than 2m spectators turning out to watch the race, which started in Leeds.

As the 10-year anniversary approaches, people are being asked to add their photos and recollections to an online archive.

Leeds city councillor Mary Harland said it would be "wonderful to a build a photographic archive of this momentous event" for future generations.

The three-week race came to England for the first time since 2007, with two stages in Yorkshire and a third finishing in London.

The race started in Leeds on the first day, heading to Otley, Skipton and Ripon before finishing in Harrogate. On the second day the cyclists started in York, taking in Harrogate and Huddersfield before finishing in Sheffield.

The gallery is being displayed on the Leodis website, run by Leeds Libraries. It already includes images such as the Black Prince statue in City Square dressed in a huge knitted yellow jersey.

The jersey was the result of weeks of work by the Holbeck Elderly Aid and Holt Park Active groups as a tribute to the famous yellow jersey worn by Tour winners for more than a century.

Around 30 balls of yellow wool were used for the statue's 2m jersey, which was lifted into place before being carefully stitched on.

Other images featured include some of the huge crowds of spectators, who gathered on Briggate and The Headrow to catch a glimpse of the riders, as they set off outside Leeds Art Gallery.

Images of the riders themselves, lined up with tense expressions ahead of the race getting under way, are also included, with stars Alberto Contador seen next to Mark Cavendish and Chris Froome at the forefront.

Leeds will also mark the 10-year anniversary by hosting Legacy Ride, a mass participation cycling event taking place on Sunday July 7.

Mrs Harland, the council's executive member for communities, said: "The 2014 Grand Depart was an occasion Leeds will never forget, when people all across the city in different communities came together and made some incredible memories."

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