Yorkshire set to learn Tour route

The 'Grand Depart' will start in Yorkshire

The 'Grand Depart' will start in Yorkshire

First published in National Sport News © by

The route for the Yorkshire leg of the 2014 Tour de France will be announced later today.

Race organisers announced last month that a Yorkshire-led bid had won the right to host the opening 'Grand Depart' of the world's most famous bike race. Two stages will be held in the county on July 5 and 6 next year while the third stage of the 101st Tour will finish in London before heading to France.

London staged the opening prologue in 2007 - the last time the race came to England - with one million people lining the streets.

This will be the second time Britain has hosted the Grand Depart and the fourth visit in all following a single stage in Plymouth in 1974 and two across the south of England 20 years later.

The 2014 Tour will begin in Leeds while Harrogate, York Racecourse, Scarborough and Sheffield have been tipped as possible locations when details of the route are revealed. Yorkshire has a rich cycling tradition, with Britain's first Tour stage winner Brian Robinson coming from Huddersfield.

The Yorkshire bid also had the support of Team Sky's Ben Swift, double Olympic track champion Ed Clancy, Barry Hoban, winner of eight stages of the Tour, and Malcolm Elliott, the first British rider to win a points jersey in a Grand Tour.

Prolific Tour stage winner Mark Cavendish, whose mother lives in Harrogate and who first raced in a Leeds football top, also backed the bid. Britain also boasts the reigning Tour de France champion, with Sir Bradley Wiggins becoming the first man from these shores to win the event last July.

In announcing Yorkshire had won the right to stage the start, Tour director Christian Prudhomme said: "Since the resounding success of the Grand Depart in London in 2007, we were very keen to return to the United Kingdom.

"Bradley Wiggins' historical victory last July and the enormous crowds that followed the cycling events in the streets of London during the Olympic Games encouraged us to go back earlier than we had initially planned.

"Yorkshire is a region of outstanding beauty, with breathtaking landscapes whose terrains offer both sprinters and attackers the opportunity to express themselves."

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