Yorkshire to host start of 2014 Tour de France

Yorkshire to host start of 2014 Tour de France

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Yorkshire has been confirmed as the host of the Grand Depart of the 2014 Tour de France by race organisers Amaury Sports Organisation.

Two stages will take place in the county on the 5 and 6 July 2014 before a third stage is hosted in London. The race will begin in Leeds before heading to the capital, which staged the Grand Depart in the 2007 edition of the Grand Tour.

British Cycling’s President, Brian Cookson OBE, said: "Like every other cycling fan, I am thrilled the world's biggest bike race is coming back to this country.

"The huge numbers who turned out to support the 2007 Grand Depart and the London 2012 road races show the passion we have for cycling.

"I'm sure Yorkshire will give the 2014 Tour de France a welcome which will stand out in the race's rich history."

A statement from ASO read: "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.

"The Grand Depart of the 101st edition of the Tour will take place on July 5 in Leeds in the county of Yorkshire.

"Seven years after the Grand Depart of the Tour de France 2007 and two years after the latest Olympic Games, London will host the last stage on British soil, before the pack returns to mainland Europe.

"The details of this Grand Depart and the stages it will include will be revealed at a press conference that will take place on Thursday January 17, 2013, in two phases, in both Leeds and Paris."

The moment the Tour de France confirmed the news on Twitter

Tour director Christian Prudhomme added: "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.

"We have encountered a phenomenal desire from the Yorkshire team to welcome the Tour de France and have no doubt that passion and support will be particularly evident for the Grand Depart of the Tour de France 2014."

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