The Tour de France 2014 Grand Depart will pass through Armitstead’s hometown of Otley on the 5th July 2014 during Stage 1 from Leeds to Harrogate, and she will be celebrating the occasion at Harewood House as it hosts the Festival.
“There’s such a buzz about cycling in Yorkshire at the moment,” Armitstead said. “As a county we’ve produced some of the best cyclists in the world and we’re very proud of our cycling history. For me, Yorkshire’s the best cycling destination in the world; the scenery’s beautiful and the terrain is tough, relentless even, but it’s training in these conditions that makes Yorkshire’s cyclists such strong competitors.”
She continued, “On top of that, Yorkshire is just a really friendly place to go out on your bike. There’s a really strong community spirit here so I know that the locals will be out in force to support the Tour next year, especially the British teams and riders, and Harewood House is a fantastic setting to bring everyone together to celebrate.
“On a personal level, I’m really looking forward to being a spectator for once and enjoying the race with my family and friends. We’ll be getting together at the Yorkshire Festival of Cycling to take part in as many events as we can, from the time trials and family rides to the mountain biking. It will be a new experience for me – it’s different from the usual musical festivals and there’ll be so much going on all weekend, I’m even planning to try out glamping.”
Commenting on Armitstead’s new role, Christopher Newton, Director of Harewood Events Ltd said; “Lizzie is a shining example of the great cycling talent that has come out of Yorkshire in recent years, and with the Tour de France passing through her hometown the event means even more to her than most.
“Her enthusiasm for her sport and her home county is infectious and we’re really excited to have her on board as an ambassador for the Dare 2b Yorkshire Festival of Cycling, as we look forward to staging a fantastic spectacle for all involved.”
The 3-day event will be a celebration of all things cycling; ticket-holders can camp in Harewood’s historic grounds, see the Tour first hand as the peloton races up the front drive and past the house, and then watch the action live on big screens.
Over the weekend festival-goers can also follow in the riders’ tracks on led-rides and take part in a host of other cycling and running events. A Shopping Expo and plenty of music and cycling-related entertainment – including a thousand-seat Cycle Cinema and talks from the UK’s favourite cycling authors – are just a few of the attractions that will keep visitors entertained off their bikes.
Tickets start from £18, with a range of tailored packages available for camping and participation in some of the activities on offer.
A ten metre by ten metre, standard three-night weekend camping pitch for up to eight people costs £145.00.
For more information on the Dare 2b Yorkshire Festival of Cycling visit http://www.festivalofcycling.org.