NORTH Yorkshire is set to find out before Christmas whether it will play its part in staging the opening stages of the Tour de France.

National newspapers yesterday reported that there was growing confidence the event’s organisers, the Amaury Sport Organisation, would choose the UK for the tour’s Grand Depart in 2014.

The Welcome To Yorkshire-led campaign to stage the start of the tour in Yorkshire would see a 400km route include York, Scarborough, the North York Moors and the Yorkshire Dales.

It could boost the county’s economy by up to £300 million.

However, yesterday’s reports claimed British Cycling, the sport’s UK governing body, was supporting a Scottish-based bid for the 2014 Tour - also including Wales, the south-east and possibly the north-east – rather than Yorkshire’s offer.

British Cycling director Jonny Clay was quoted as saying having two British bids was “daft.”

He said: “We’re backing what we think is the best bid”.