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Brownlee Brothers Encourage Nation to Get Inspired by Tour de France Visit this Summer

by Nick Gregory

Olympic gold and bronze medal-winning triathletes Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee are encouraging the nation to get active this summer, as the Tour de France visits their native Yorkshire. 

"The Tour de France is one of the biggest sporting events in the world, so to have the Grand Depart here in Yorkshire is a once in a lifetime opportunity," said Alistair. "We hope that everyone comes out to watch, support and enjoy the event, but even more than that we hope that it gets people inspired, so that when the Tour's back in France everyone in the UK will be getting out on their bikes and getting active." 

With the opening stage route passing minutes from brothers' houses in Bramhope, near Leeds, the Brownlees are excited to see how the world's best riders fair on the roads they train on together every day; "the Yorkshire scenery is beautiful," said Jonny, "but the roads can be a lot tougher than what some of the continental riders might be expecting." 

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The Brownlees made their comments on a training ride through the Harewood House Estate, a key part of the Stage 1 route and site of the Dare 2b Yorkshire Festival of Cycling, for which both brothers are ambassadors. 

Taking place throughout the Grand Depart weekend from 4th-6th July 2014, the Festival is set to be a celebration of all things cycling. As well as a prime spot to see the race first hand at its Official Ceremonial Start, Harewood's grounds will also play host to a wide range of participation events throughout the weekend; from time-trials to trail runs, family fun rides to duathlons, catering for serious athletes through to absolute beginners. 

"The Yorkshire Festival of Cycling will be a great place to bring everyone together in celebration," said Alistair; "it's an opportunity to experience the beauty of one of Yorkshire's oldest estates and watch the race up close, but you can also have a go at these events yourself, meet like-minded people and get inspired to keep training and improving afterwards." 

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Jonny added his advice for everyone taking part in events at the Festival; "The terrain here at Harewood is quite rough so make sure you get some off-road practice runs in beforehand. And invest in some good shoes!" 

All the participation events are being organised by Human Race, who are working closely with the Yorkshire Police and Traffic Management teams to organise led-rides from the Festival out to the best possible vantage points on the Tour route. Within the grounds, participation events include family fun rides, circuit time trials, an Enduro mountain bike race, trail runs and duathlons. 

Nick Rusling CEO of Human Race said: "This is a unique opportunity, not only for people to experience this historic occasion but also for them to get involved by taking part in cycling events themselves over the weekend. No matter what your age or level of experience, there is something for everybody to be truly involved in what will be a fantastic weekend of cycling." 

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There will be plenty more on-site activities to keep the whole family entertained, with an Army assault course, large shopping expo, music and big screens showing the Tour de France live to ensure that fans can keep up with all the action. High profile guests will be there to join in the carnival atmosphere, including Lizzie Armitstead and 2006 Tour winner Oscar Pereiro - providing a truly-one off experience. 

For more information on the Dare 2b Yorkshire Festival of Cycling, please visit: http://www.festivalofcycling.org.