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Yorkshire cycling legend lights up spectacular recycled bicycle tree as a totem of Tour de France in Leeds
Brian Robinson and Rachel Hopwell from Igloo. © Simon Dewhurst.

LEEDS.- Legendary Yorkshire cyclist Brian Robinson, the first Briton to win a stage of the Tour de France, conducted the official Christmas lights switch on for an unusual tree made of bicycles which has parked up on Wonderwood in Holbeck Urban Village, (HUV) Leeds.

The bespoke tree was commissioned by Igloo Regeneration Partnership, the developer and landlord of the Round Foundry and Marshall’s Mill in HUV, and was designed by award-winning British architect and Professor of Architecture at University of Sheffield Sarah Wigglesworth MBE RDI - for the developer’s Bermondsey site in London in 2009.

Putting an original spin on recycling, the ‘tree-cycle’ is made from 35 recycled bicycle wheels, to reflect Igloo’s Footprint policy which puts sustainability at its heart. Having been in storage for the last few years, the tree has been revamped, refurbished and reconstructed in Leeds as a public Christmas tree for all the businesses who work in the area as well as visitors who frequent the bars and pubs. The tree also celebrates Yorkshire’s role as host of the Grand Depart and will remain on site until the end of July 2014 as a totem for the Tour.

Comments Rachel Hopwell from Igloo: “We’d like to say thank you to Brian, a true inspiration for generations of cyclists, for joining us to switch on our Christmas lights. We felt this was the perfect time to put the wheels back in motion and for the tree to take root here on Wonderwood - not just for Christmas, but for the duration of the Tour in Yorkshire next year. This felt like the perfect opportunity for the tree to make a reappearance and to remind people working in and visiting area to get on their bikes next year in celebration of the Tour De France coming to Yorkshire, which is a huge coup for the region.”

Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “This is a wonderful way of celebrating cycling through art and indeed Yorkshire’s Grand Départ. And what better time to ‘plant’ it than Christmas – it looks stunning lit up. Projects like this show the passion people have for cycling in Yorkshire and indeed the country and next year promises to be massive.”

Brian Robinson (born 3 November 1930 in Huddersfield, Yorkshire) is an English former road bicycle racer of the 1950s and early 1960s. He was the first Briton to finish the Tour de France and the first to win a Tour stage. His success as a professional cyclist in mainland Europe paved the way for other Britons such as Tom Simpson and Barry Hoban. Cycling magazine laced Robinson ninth best British rider of the 20th century

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