Tour de France competition deadline extended after rush of entries

TOUR de France fever is growing as Yorkshire prepares to host the Grand Depart for next year's big race.

The deadline for entries to a Tour-related competition has had to be extended after unprecedented interest from schools.

Knaresborough-based GSPK Design launched a contest in late November for teams of four to design a piece of technology which could help riders when the event comes to the Broad Acres.

The original closing date to register was before Christmas, but demand has meant the deadline has now been extended to January 17.

Managing director Paul Marsh said: "The feedback we've had so far from the schools has been fantastic. We hoped each school would be able to find a team of four pupils, but some have been talking about entering more than one team because the students have been so inspired by the challenge."

Mr Marsh, who is also chairman of Young Enterprise North Yorkshire, is a keen supporter of initiatives which encourage more youngsters to choose engineering as a career.

The Tour de France competition, named Four le Tour, challenges teams of four to develop a product or gadget which could help riders earn the yellow jersey - however it must be more than a simple fashion accessory.

"We're looking for a really useful gadget which has been clearly thought through by its designers," said Mr Marsh.

"Not all schools do electronics as part of their curriculum so being able to create a working prototype isn't essential.

"What we want is for the students to show their problem-solving skills, look at things like costs and consider how they would market the product."

Register online at gspkdesign.ltd.uk/news/four-le-tour-competition/ where more information is also available.

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