University celebrates Tour de France


Ahead of the official Opening Ceremony Team Presentation on Thursday, all 198 competitors in the Tour de France gathered at the University of Leeds before setting off to cycle through the city.

The riders, led by cyclists from community groups and local clubs, made their way from campus through to the Leeds Arena.

The parade gave spectators a flavour of things to come, ahead of the Grand Départ, which starts on The Headrow on Saturday 5 July.

The University of Leeds has been marking The Tour's visit to Yorkshire, and the University’s unique connection to French culture and elite sport, by organising a series of celebrations.

Highlights include:

Producing our own Jersey

After running a design competition, the winning jersey design is now available to pre order. You can place your order through the Velocampus Bike Hub during it's opening hours between 12-4pm Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, or by sending a cheque payable to the University of Leeds to: Sustainability, 31 Cromer Terrace, University of Leeds, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 9JU. Please also provide your name, the required size, a contact email address and a return address for us to send your jersey to. For more details, visit the Sports website.

Designing a special countdown clock 

In a partnership between the University, Leeds City Council and Trinity Shopping Centre, a countdown clock has been produced that both celebrated and counted down to the Grand Départ. Barney George, a Leeds based theatre designer won the competition to design the clock at the start of this year. Students from the Schools of Product Design and Mechanical Engineering, led by Dan Trowsdale, a Senior Teaching Fellow at the University, have produced the impressive 'mechanical theatre'. You can read more about the project here

Tour de France lecture series

A series of lectures have been held at the University to celebrate the Grand Départ, including Olympic medal-winning cyclist Lizzie Armitstead from Otley, who talked about her incredibly successful career so far and the challenges women's cycling faces in the future, as well as Peter Dodd from Welcome to Yorkshire.

Hosting key personnel

Building on our successful hosting of Olympic teams, the University’s hotel and conference centre - Weetwood Hall - has been successful in attracting racing teams to stay with them during their visit to Leeds. We have also successfully marketed the Storm Jameson hall of residence to visitors, as well as hiring out rooms to support the large team of visiting police staff.  

Cycling legacy 

The University has a very active cycling programme and our student teams have just won the British university championships.  We are actively working with Leeds Council’s teams in developing cycling legacy programmes and engaging students and staff in recreational cycling supported by the sustainability team.

For more information about the Grand Départ, visit the Welcome to Yorkshire, LeTour website.

Information about road closures across Yorkshire can be found here.