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Isle of Man to be showcased at Grand Départ of Tour de France 2014

The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company is teaming up with Isle of Man Stamps & Coins and the Department of Economic Development to help showcase the Island at the Grand Départ of the 2014 Tour de France in Yorkshire this weekend.

On Saturday 5th July the world's leading cyclists, including Manx sporting legend and former Tour de France green jersey winner Mark Cavendish, will embark on Stage 1 from Leeds to Harrogate, with Stage 2 taking the riders from York to Sheffield the following day.

A team from IOM Stamps & Coins will attend this historic event, taking along promotional material for the Island and copies of special edition collectable Tour de France stamps, endorsed by Yorkshire man and cycling legend Brian Robinson.

The team will be at Stand 22 within Harewood House, Leeds, near the Army and RAF display area, from July 4th to July 6th, with everyone who spends £15 at the stand receiving a Tour de France gift.

The Steam Packet Company will be providing travel for representatives to attend the Grand Départ, which also offers a fantastic opportunity for the team to promote the Isle of Man as a great destination for cyclists.

Angela Byrne, Head of Tourism for the Department of Economic Development, said: 'This represents an exciting opportunity to show visitors to the event just what the Isle of Man has to offer as a tourist destination, particularly for cycling enthusiasts and those with an interest in adventure sports and outdoor pursuits.

'The Island is proud to be the home of cycling heroes such as Mark Cavendish and Olympic and British road race champion Peter Kennaugh. We are also looking forward to showcasing the rugged beauty and diversity of the Manx landscape that makes it such an attractive place for cyclists to explore and which we hope will result in the Island being awarded the 2016 British National Cycling Championship road races.'

Maxine Cannon, Stamps & Coins General Manager at IOM Post, said: 'As the official licence holder to the Tour de France, we are delighted to have the opportunity to attend this event and showcase our one-off series of collectables, which have been developed to celebrate the launch of the Grand Départ 2014.

'Each of the six special edition stamps uses a high definition image of the iconic landmark associated with a stage, and each of the officially branded 2014 sheetlets is also accompanied by a course map and features a different cycling hero associated with each stage.'

Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward added: 'We are pleased to be able to offer our support with travel for this. As well as offering the opportunity to be part of this fantastic event, it also provides a platform for representatives from the Isle of Man to market our beautiful Island as a destination for all potential visitors, as well as cyclists.

'The Steam Packet Company offers ferry services to the Isle of Man from Liverpool and Heysham, as well as Belfast and Dublin during its Spring-Summer season.  Passengers can travel by car and pack everything that they need with no luggage fees, or travel as a foot passenger and bring their bicycle free of charge.

'We are confident that efforts to promote the Isle of Man in this setting will be a success, and would also like to wish Mark Cavendish the very best of luck in this year's Tour de France.'

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