Royal flying start to tour

The world's greatest bike race got off to a flying start today, as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcomed the Tour de France to Britain.

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Mike Ashley bows out of Sports Direct profit-share scheme

Mike Ashley
Credit: PA

Mike Ashley has bowed out of a controversial profit-share scheme which could see 3,000 permanent staff receive a piece of £200m if profits double in 2019.

The scheme recently came under fire from investors groups and the Institute of Directors who were planning to vote against Chairman Keith Hellawell and other board members because they were unhappy with the arrangement.

In a statement on the Sport's Direct website today the company confirms that despite approval from a panel of independent shareholders that he could receive a payout he has - after discussions with the board - decided to refuse his payout.

Keith Hellawell, Non-Executive Chairman of Sports Direct International plc, said:

"The resolution passed by shareholders to implement the 2015 Bonus Share Scheme clearly recognises the success of previous company-wide schemes, and the significant contribution from Mike.

"On behalf of the entire Board, I should like to thank shareholders for the trust and confidence that they have demonstrated towards the team.

"Mike remains fully committed to achieving the scheme's stretch targets. Regarding the allocation of shares, Mike's focus is on ensuring that the scheme aligns all employees to achieve the Company's objectives.

"Following recent unhelpful speculation surrounding his potential allocation, he is determined to ensure that there is the maximum number of shares available for the eligible employees."

Mike Ashley has not received a salary or any bonus since Sports Direct was floated in 2007 when he received £929m.

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Quarter of people want to visit Yorkshire after Tour de France

The success of the Tour de France in Yorkshire is expected to create a tourism boom in the region.

The Tour de France passes through Haworth in Yorkshire Credit: Martin Rickett/PA

A survey has shown a quarter of the country now want to visit Yorkshire. One third of people changed their opinion of the county after watching the biggest Grand Départ in history.

Four teenagers hurt in crash with police camera van

Four teenagers, all young men aged 17, have been hurt when the car they were travelling in was involved in a collision with a police vehicle in North Yorkshire.

It happened when a Vauxhall Corsa crashed with a mobile safety camera van on the Stokesley to Helmsley Road (B1257) north of Chop Gate.

North Yorkshire Police say two of the teenagers in the Corsa were seriously hurt.

The member of police staff who was driving the van received a minor injury.

All occupants of the Corsa are from the Stokesley, Marton and Nunthorpe area.

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Verity's thanks after Yorkshire TDF success

The Chief Executive of Welcome To Yorkshire, Gary Verity, has tweeted his thanks and appreciation following Tour de France success.

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One of my fav @letouryorkshire pics ....off to Cambridge now ...heading to a town south of #Yorkshire , London ?? http://t.co/oFyZwlr15t

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....and a huge thank you to the man who always believed in #Yorkshire , mon ami Christian Prudhomme . http://t.co/suFnfc4JFA

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Yorkshire pride as The Grand Départ departs

The Tour de France has left the region after a weekend when the world's biggest annual sporting event brought two and a half million spectators to Yorkshire.

There was disappointment this morning when British star Mark Cavendish confirmed he would not be racing and today's stage was won by Italian cyclist Vincenzo Nibali.

MORE: Moment Cavendish's Tour de France dreams were over

But organisers say the overall winner was Yorkshire.

MORE: Organisers praise 'the grandest Grand Depart'

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