Region wins right to host Tour de France

YORKSHIRE will host the start of the 2014 Tour de France, it was announced today.

The county will host racing on July 5 and 6 before the Tour moves south for a third stage, finishing in London.

The race last visited the UK in 2007, when London hosted a prologue ahead of a road stage from the capital to Canterbury.

Yorkshire beat off the challenge of bids from Florence and Edinburgh to host the prestigious event.

The 2014 Tour will start in Leeds, it was confirmed. Full details of the route of the two Yorkshire stages will be revealed in January.

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, the agency behind the county’s bid, said: “Today is a proud day for everyone involved in the bid and the county as a whole.

“We are honoured that the race organisers have selected Yorkshire to be the host location of the 2014 Grand Depart.

“It will mean that, less than two years after hosting the Olympics, the British public can look forward to another of the world’s biggest sporting events coming to the country.

“I am in no doubt they will come to Yorkshire in their millions, lining the length and breadth of the route to cheer on the champions of world cycling and our home grown British heroes.”

Race organiser, the Amaury Sport Organisation, said: “The organisers of the Tour de France are pleased to announce that the Grand Depart of the Tour de France 2014 will take place in the United Kingdom in the county of Yorkshire, before heading to London for a stage finish.
“After an outstanding 2012 for British cycling, marked by the historical victory of Bradley Wiggins on the Tour de France, the United Kingdom will again hold pride of place in 2014.”