8,000 sign up to volunteer for the Tour

The Grand Depart comes to Yorkshire in July 2014 Photo:

Nearly 8,000 people have signed up to help out on the Yorkshire leg of the 2014 Tour de France.

As with the London 2012 Games it is hoped the volunteers - dubbed Le Tour Makers - will be a memorable part of staging a friendly and successful race.

We have only just opened (the application). We were expecting to get a few hundred but we are already at nearly 8,000.

We are expecting them to highlight the great warm Yorkshire welcome that we are renowned for.

It is about being part of the smiling face of Yorkshire.

We were hoping to get 10,000 volunteers, and we have already got 8,000.

– Dee Marshall, Welcome to Yorkshire

London 2012's 70,000-strong Games Maker volunteers became some of the unexpected heroes of the Olympics and Paralympics for the energy and warmth of their welcome to tourists, visitors, officials and athletes.

They worked in a range of roles from working at transport hubs through to running information desks, distributing uniforms and working in the medical services team.

Yorkshire tourist chiefs are hoping for the same type of atmosphere when the world's most famous cycle race hits town in July 2014.