Sir Rodney in charge of next year’s Grand Départ of the Tour de France in Yorkshire

Sir Rodney Walker. Pictured outside Nostell Priory.'w2109b023
Sir Rodney Walker. Pictured outside Nostell Priory.'w2109b023

Veteran sports executive Sir Rodney Walker has been named as the man who will oversee Yorkshire’s hosting of next year’s Tour de France.

The former Wakefield Trinity Rugby League chairman who has gone on to chair the GB Sports Council, Sport England, UK Sport and the World Snooker Association, will be at the helm as Yorkshire gears up for the arrival of one of the world’s biggest sporting events next summer.

With less than a year to go before the Grand Départ in Leeds on July 5, 2014, it is understood the government is now close to finalising a £21m funding package for the event.

Sir Rodney, who has declined to comment ahead of his official unveiling later this month, will chair a new body – TDF 2014 Ltd – set up to organise the event.

In a joint statement, Skipton and Ripon MP Julian Smith and Leeds North West MP Greg Mulholland, the co-chairs of the All Party Parliamentary Group for 2014 Yorkshire and UK Tour de France, said: “We are delighted one of the most influential sports administrators in the country is to take on the role of overseeing the preparations for next year’s Tour de France.”