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UPDATED York's Tour de France route announced
THE world’s best cyclists will roll out of York Racecourse before riding past Cliffords Tower and York Minster on the second stage of Le Grand Depart, it has been announced today.
As the route is revealed ticket information has also been released allowing York residents and cycling fans to be part of the action.
Organisers of the Tour de France gathered in Paris this morning to announce the official route of the 2014 Le Grand Depart, which is being staged in Yorkshire.
After winning the bid in December to host the event, Welcome to Yorkshire announced in January that Stage 2 of the race will begin in York.
Today it was revealed the riders will be setting off from York Racecourse on a route that will take them along Bishopthorpe Road then across Skeldergate Bridge leading them past Cliffords Tower.
The peloton will ride through the city centre, along Coney Street, before negotiating a hair-pin bend through St Helen's Square and back along Davygate.
Riders will turn left onto Church Street, going along Goodramgate and Deangate, and cycling past the Minster along Duncombe Place.
Spectators are being invited to take to the stands at the racecourse to watch the cyclist’s departure, with the venue’s giant television screens set to feature the rest of the stage as it passes through York and beyond.
The racecourse will also be televising other sporting occassions due to take place the same day, on Sunday, July 6, including the Men’s Wimbledon Final and the British Formula One Grand Prix.
The event at the racecourse, which will present the leading riders to the crowds before they head into the city, is free to attend, although tickets will be required on entry.
The free tickets will be available from December 2 from the racecourse’s website.
Cllr Sonja Crisp, cabinet member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism, said: “It is a great honour for York to host the start of stage 2 of the 2014 Tour de France.
“I am delighted that the route will take in the city's heritage by passing some of York's most famous landmarks, such as The Minster and Clifford’s Tower.
“With Le Tour being shown in 188 countries to 3.5 billion people, York will truly be seen on a global stage.
“York Racecourse has successfully hosted many large scale events in the past. It is therefore fitting that they will be hosting the start village of stage 2 of the Grand Depart.”
York Racecourse is working with Tour de France organisers ASO, the City of York Council, and Welcome to Yorkshire to stage the departure event.
Senior racecourse manager Tony Lee said: “We understand the ability of sport to thrill, so it is a real thrill that such a famous event is coming to York.
“In our history we have hosted the Queen, the Pope, Royal Ascot, the St Leger and the Olympic Torch. Now Le Tour is coming it’s fabulous news.”
Kersten England, City of York Council chief executive and regional legacy lead, added: “The Tour de France is the world’s biggest sporting event and to have it come to York gives York and the wider region a great chance to create a lasting legacy.
“We are already starting to see the effect that Le Grand Depart is having in York and the rest of Yorkshire.
“I hope that even more people will be inspired by seeing the likes of Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome competing in the world’s biggest annual sporting event on the same roads that they could be cycling along.”
The 101st running of Le Tour will start in Leeds on July 5 with a 190km stage taking the riders to the spa town of Harrogate. Stage 2 will start from York on July 6, with the riders tackling a 200km stage with climbs including Holme Moss on the way to Sheffield.
All five local authorities which are hosting a stage start or finish in the UK leg of Le Tour were present at the announcement in Paris.
Representatives from City of York Council were deputy council leader Cllr Tracey Simpson-Laing and director of communities & neighbourhoods Sally Burns.
Meanwhile North Yorkshire County Council has announced it will be installing waymarker signs along the route of Stage 1. Approximately 50 signs will act as permanent waymarkers so that cyclists and motorists can follow the routes of the Grand Départ for years to come. Most of new signs will be in place by early 2014.