Tour de France departs to Yorkshire for 2014

Leeds expected to hold two stages, including the opening prologue
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The Tour de France will return to Britain in 2014 with Yorkshire announced as the host for the Grand Départ.

Two stages will be held in the county on 5 and 6 July with a third finishing in London the following day before the race returns to its home country.

British Cycling had supported an ambitious bid to open the race in Edinburgh and then see a total of four stages criss-crossing the country to the south coast. Edinburgh is likely to bid again for the 2017 Tour.

The success of the Yorkshire bid sets 2014 up as another memorable summer of sport in Britain with the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup taking place in Scotland.

“Since the resounding success of the Grand Départ in London in 2007, we were very keen to return to the United Kingdom,” said Christian Prudhomme, race director of the Tour.  “Bradley Wiggins’s 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’s bid, which was supported by Mark Cavendish, is centred on Leeds, where the race will begin. Details of the route will be announced next month. “Like every other cycling fan, I am thrilled the world’s biggest bike race is coming back to this country,” said Brian Cookson, president of British Cycling. “I’m sure Yorkshire will give the 2014 Tour de France a welcome which will stand out in the race’s rich history.”