Support for Yorkshire "Tour " bid

Tour de France 2012 Credit: Press Association

Ed Miliband used talks with French president Francois Hollande to lobby for the Tour de France cycle race to come to Yorkshire. And the Doncaster North MP said that the president "seemed supportive of the idea" when he raised it during talks in Paris.

Mr Miliband's visit came just days after British cyclist Bradley Wiggins completed his epic victory in the sport's most prominent contest, sparking a massive boost in interest in cycling in the UK. Yorkshire is bidding to host the first two stages - known as Le Grand Depart - of the Tour in 2016.

The Yorkshire stages would run through cities and beauty spots including Leeds, York, Hull, Sheffield, Scarborough and the Yorkshire Dales. "I mentioned Bradley Wiggins' triumph and told the president about the bid being put forward by Yorkshire to host the initial two stages, " said Mr Miliband.

"He said the Tour de France had gone through his constituency and I said I was looking forward to it hopefully going through mine. He seemed supportive of the idea. I know it is not a decision for him, but it would be a great thing for it to come to Yorkshire."