Le Tour benefits for town

Doncaster Mayor Peter Davies
Doncaster Mayor Peter Davies
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HOTELs in Doncaster are already taking bookings for next year’s Tour de France and expect to be booked up - even though the world’s biggest cycle race will not pass through the borough.

Mayor Peter Davies has expressed his disappointment that Doncaster will not feature in either of the first two stages of the Grand Depart in July 2014 - but hoteliers say they will reap the rewards from the event none-the-less.

It is hoped continental cycling fans will catch the Eurostar for a four-and-a-half hour train journey from Paris to Doncaster, or hop on a plane to Robin Hood Airport.

Business leaders also say Doncaster should gain some benefits from the race, which attracts a television audience of billions.

Richard McIlroy, owner of The Mount Pleasant Hotel, said: “It will benefit us greatly - we have already taken a booking for that weekend.

“That it’s not coming to Doncaster is slightly disappointing but it’s going to finish in Sheffield which is on the periphery of this area, which I think is great.

“I have absolutely no doubt our 57 rooms will be full that weekend. I think people connected with tourism in Doncaster are very pleased it is coming to Yorkshire. It would be nice if it was coming to Doncaster, but it will still put Yorkshire on the map, and there’s no question people will see more of the region on TV.”

Doncaster mayor Peter Davies said: “I am disappointed Doncaster was overlooked as we have strong cycling links in the town. But it is still important we tap into this major sporting event to showcase our superb location and many wonderful attractions to a worldwide audience.

Dan Fell, spokesman for Doncaster Chamber of Commerce, said: “Local businesses will still benefit as a result of visitors coming to Yorkshire to watch the tour who then stay in the region for a few more days.”