Tour de France 2014 to get Grand Yorkshire send off

TourdeFranceThe organisers of the Tour de France 2014 have revealed details of the Grand Depart. The 101st edition of Le Tour will start Yorkshire with two stages before finally arriving in London, seven years after the success of the Grand Départ of Le Tour in 2007 and two years after the London Olympics.

The first stage will start on July 5, 2014, in front of Leeds Town Hall. The stage will cover 120 miles through the Yorkshire Dales National Park in the Pennines, before reaching Harrogate, where the first Yellow Jersey of the Tour de France 2014 will be awarded. The next day, the riders will leave York for Sheffield on a very tricky 125 mile stage. After two stages in Yorkshire, the peloton will head south on July 7, with a stage from the University City of Cambridge to London. After passing the Olympic Park, the race will continue along the banks of the Thames and the city’s Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. The finish will be on The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace.

Christian Prudhomme, Tour de France director, said: “Yorkshire is a region of outstanding beauty, with breath-taking landscapes whose terrains offer both sprinters and attackers the opportunity to express themselves. We have encountered a phenomenal desire to welcome the Tour de France and no doubt that popular acclaim will be particularly in evidence over there.

“The Grand Départ of the Tour de France 2007 in London, the first ever organised in the United Kingdom, will remain unforgettable. We are very glad to return, seven years after, to this magnificent city.”

Added Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire: “The routes of the Grand Départ will showcase some of Yorkshire’s iconic cycling climbs and the county’s stunning land and cityscapes. The peloton will be technically tested as they tackle some challenging terrain in what are sure to be two exhilarating days of racing in the county. The British public’s response since the news broke that the 2014 Grand Départ would be hosted in Yorkshire has been overwhelming and I am sure the route announcements will encourage even more people to come to the county to experience for themselves the phenomenon that is Le Tour.”