ABOUT 180,000 visitors are expected to flock to York when it hosts the Tour de France this summer.

The influx is only slightly less than the city’s entire population of 200,000 people, and City of York Council says managing the route, traffic and transport will be a priority.

A spokeswoman said that to assist with traffic and crowd management, the authority had identified four potential spectator hubs for families to watch the event on Sunday July 6 - the racecourse, designer outlet, Rowntree park/riverside and Monks Stay. The decision on the official hubs is expected by the end of March, when further details on traffic arrangements will also be announced. The racecourse will host the official start of the race in York, from which the sponsor’s parade of up to 180 vehicles will depart ahead of the racing peloton itself.

Meanwhile, the council has again signed-up to the York Sky Ride on Sunday September 14, following a successful inaugural event in 2013 which saw over 5,000 cyclists take part in the ride thgrough the city.

The council’s cabinet will be presented with an update on the city's preparation for the world’s largest cycle race at a meeting next Tuesday (4 March) Cabinet member Coun Sonja Crisp, said enthusiasm and excitement in the city about the huge event was becoming more visible every day.

She said: “Officers are working within the community and via a series of resident and business events to promote just how everyone in York can be part of not just the event weekend but the fantastic Yorkshire Festival activity in the 100 days beforehand.

“York has already benefitted from incredible positive global media attention since the race was announced and we intend to build on this in the run up to, during and after the race alongside partners, to increase York's profile as a place people want to live, work, visit and invest.”