The government has pledged to invest in a new marketing campaign to raise the profile of international cycling in Britain.
Welcome to Yorkshire and partner, Visit Britain will be given £300,000 to attract more visitors to the region for the first Tour de Yorkshire in May.
The region is aiming to build on the fine momentum gained after hosting last year’s Tour de France, and will receive a further £500,000 to help establish new cycling circuits.
Nick Clegg emphasised the economic significance of contributing to the staging of the road race, and outlined how much more could be achieved through help from Whitehall.
“One of the reasons I banged the table as hard as I did to make sure the Government provided some support to the Tour de France, despite some reluctance within Government at the time to do so, is because I think it pays off," the deputy prime minister said.
The Tour de Yorkshire starts one week before polling day, and Mr Clegg observed how the event will provide welcome respite from the political wranglings of a nation preparing to go to the polls.
“One of the many reasons the Tour de Yorkshire will be so popular with the public is they will be so utterly fed up with politics by that stage that the country will flee to escape the clutches of us campaigning politicians and watch the cycling instead,” Mr Clegg added.
The Tour will be a flagship cycling event for the UK in 2015 and is set to attract the world’s leading teams and riders, along with the attention of global media, and an international host of cycling fans.
Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity said: “Lots of people in Yorkshire know the race is happening. Lots of people in the UK know it’s happening. Not many people in Belgium, Holland and France know the race is happening yet.”
“This will enable us to raise the profile and get a lot of visitors over from Belgium, Holland and France, not just for the race but for the rest of this year,” he added.
Mr Verity was also enthusiastic about a new “passion” coming out of Whitehall for cycling in Britain.
“Cycling in general, partly down to the success of British cycling, partly down to the success of the Grand Depart when it was in Yorkshire last year - all those things mean we have reached a perfect storm in terms of support and long may that continue,” he continued.
Setting of from Bridlington on Friday May 1st, the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire’s first stage will take a spectacular route up the coast and then inland through the iconic north York moors before finishing in Scarborough.
Leg two sees riders go from the striking environs of Selby Abbey, through the Yorkshire Wolds via Beverley towards a dramatic finish stretch in York.
On the final day beginning in Wakefield, there will be two sprints and six climbs through Holmfirth, Rippondale, Hebden Bridge and Addingham before finishing at Roundhay Park in Leeds.