A York cyclist who is making sporting history at the Tour de France is urging residents to organise their own street parties and paint the city yellow for the event.

Mike Hughes is one of a handful cyclists who have been granted the privilege of riding head of the main body of competitors on the first leg between Leeds and Harrogate.

Until now charity cyclists have been kept off the course on the actual day of the event. Mike and the other charity riders will each raise money to create a Marie Curie nurse’s job on July 5.

In the meantime, he took a break from training at parties at Acomb Fire Station and York Council offices to whip up even more excitement for the Tour’s arrival in Yorkshire.

He said: “I’d love it for individuals and businesses around York to follow the example of the Council and the Fire Service by organising their own Grand Départy event. Let’s turn York yellow.”

Cllr Sonja Crisp, City of York Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure, said: “We’re encouraging the city to join in by wearing yellow and helping raise awareness and funds for the charity.”

To organise your own Grand Départy! visit www.mariecurie.org.uk/tourdefrance or call 0845 052 4184. To sponsor Mike go to www.justgiving.com/mjdhughes or text MJDH64 £5 to 70070.