Organisers reveal 2014 Tour de France route through Yorkshire

THE 2014 Tour de France will begin in Leeds with a second stage the following day setting off from York and finishing in Sheffield.

Leeds will host the Grand Depart on July 5, with the stage then proceeding through Harewood, Otley, Ilkley, Skipton, Kettlewell, Aysgarth, Hawes, Reeth, Leyburn and Ripon before the competitors cross the finishing line in Harrogate.

The next day’s race will start in York, passing through  Knaresborough, Silsden, Keighley, Haworth, Hebden Bridge, Elland, Huddersfield, Holmfirth and finishing in Sheffield.

The routes were announced in Paris yesterday with further details expected to emerge later today at a press conference being held in Leeds.

At a later press conference in Leeds, the bid team said the Tour would bring a  £100m boost to the Yorkshire economy

Kersten England, chief executive of City of York Council, said the race would be a major boost for the city.

“We’re delighted to announce to the world that York is hosting the Tour de France Grand Depart, particularly as this year is its centenary race,” she said.

“As a cyclist myself, it’s a privilege to be appointed as the senior legacy lead for the region and to ensure that this important legacy lives on in Yorkshire, builds on this city’s long-standing commitment to cycling and inspires generations to come – maybe even a future Tour winner?”

Keighley and Ilkley MP Kris Hopkins said: “The Tour de France is one of the world’s biggest and best classic sporting events and is on a scale not yet fully appreciated in this country.
 
“I am absolutely certain that its arrival will have a hugely positive impact on Ilkley’s unrivalled tourist offering – in the short and longer term – and on the wider local economy.” 

Tourism organisation Welcome to Yorkshire has been instrumental in bringing the Tour de France to the region. 

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire said: “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 today will encourage even more people to come to the county to experience for themselves the phenomenon that is Le Tour.”

A third UK stage will begin in Cambridge and finish in London.