Couple’s tribute to Le Tour

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The owners of a Pickering landmark are showing their true colours after coming down with “Tour Fever” ahead of the Grand Depart.

Cycling fans Mike and Cheryl Potter, of High Mill, have decorated part of their historic building in yellow, green and red polka dots – replicating the colours of the three famous leaders’ jerseys from The Tour de France – as well as hanging up matching bunting ahead of the start of the race on July 5.

The flags are also at the ready in support of Mark Cavendish, who hails from Cheryl’s home town of Douglas on the Isle of Man, and is a favourite to sprint to victory on Stage One in Harrogate.

But the Tour connection does not stop there as Mike, a keen racing cyclist for 34 years, has volunteered to join the ranks of Tour Makers, becoming one of 12,000 volunteers from 30,000 applicants.

He will be assisting the safe passage of the riders on July 6, just after they descend from Holme Moss, high in the Pennines, en-route to Sheffield.

“It’s the greatest free show on earth,” said Mike, who has already seen the Tour de France at close quarters in Paris and England during its previous appearance. “If you think it costs at least £100 for a ticket for the Olympics or World Cup, here you can go and watch it for free and soak up the atmosphere of the race and everything that goes on around it.”

And even though the Tour organisers opted against sending the peloton through Ryedale, he still believes its legacy will have a massive knock-on effect for tourism and local businesses such as the four-star self-catering accommodation he and Cheryl run at High Mill, alongside the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

“What many don’t seem to realise is that this is a showcase for Yorkshire. I think there will be about three to four billion people watching it around the world and helicopters flying over parts of the region like Castle Howard and the Dales.”

Mike, a member of Scarborough Paragon Cycling Club, added: “The world will be looking at Yorkshire for two days – how many people will see it and think about coming to visit the region?”

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