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Yorkshire to host Tour de France 2014 start

Cycling News
December 14, 2012, 10:05,
January 17, 2013, 12:00
Second Edition Cycling News, Friday, December 14, 2012
Tour de France
Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) seals victory in the Tour de France with a commanding ride in the final time trial

Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) seals victory in the Tour de France with a commanding ride in the final time trial

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Tour returns to United Kingdom for first time since 2007

The 2014 Tour de France will start in Yorkshire, England, race organizers ASO announced on Friday.

It will be the first time that the Tour has started in the United Kingdom since 2007, and its first visit to Yorkshire.

Other cities in the running to host the Grand Depart were Edinburgh, Scotland, and Florence, Italy.

Yorkshire will host the first two days racing on the 5th and 6th July before the Tour heads south for a third stage in southern England, with a finish in London. Leeds will be the host city of the Grand Depart and will hold a festival of cycling and the arts to coincide with the arrival of the Tour. Full details of the stages will be revealed at a joint news conference in Leeds and Paris on 17 January.

Christian Prudhomme, Tour de France Director visited Yorkshire several times and has seen how cycling has grown since the Tour started in London.

“Since the resounding success of the Grand Départ 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," he said in a statement issued by the Yorkshire organisers.

"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 Départ of the Tour de France 2014.”

Yorkshire fought hard to secure the Tour de France Grand Depart, publicizing their bid in Britain and France during this year's race and then outbidding their rivals with a financial offer close to four million pounds.

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, the Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), have selected Yorkshire to be the host location of the 2014 Grand Départ."

Yorkshire is one of the traditional centres of cycling in Britain. Eight-time Tour de France stage winner Barry Hoban is from Wakefield, while Malcolm Elliot is from Sheffield. Current Yorkshire-born pro riders include Ben Swift (Team Sky), Russell Downing (NetApp-Endura) and track Olympian Ed Clancy.  

Leeds hosted the Leeds International Classic one-day race between 1994 and 1996, which was part of the UCI World Cup series. Max Sciandri won the race in 1995.


TShame More than 1 year ago
This adds nothing to the Tour, neither does Belgium traffic circles, or the previously rumored Saudi Arabia start. This is just a "for-the-money" stage that brings little racing action to the Tour. It is called the Tour de FRANCE, right?
underwraps More than 1 year ago
The "out of france" starts are boring. This is as always for me a no go. ... or should Paris-Roubaix start in Germany. This brings me to another change, The Tour of Flanders changed completely without the Muur. Don´t change the tradition - one of the most impressives things in procycling!
ceramiccyclist More than 1 year ago
I'm from Yorkshire, so to get a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the Tour pass through my home area is fantastic. So stop being such miserable sods. If it were coming to your home, you'd love it! One thing I will say, our damn councils better make sure the roads are properly resurfaced!
TShame More than 1 year ago
Then you are close enough to go to France and watch it there. The Brits are willing to spend a lot of quid just to see a bunch finish and the French are willing to take their money. How much does it cost to have a stage designed for Cav?
underwraps More than 1 year ago
I think it is not. it´s only for the money. i´ll would not go to a stage near my hometown, because it´s only a buiseness event. the race will start in france and for the riders it is horribel ... a nightmare.
ceramiccyclist More than 1 year ago
Horrible? A nightmare? They're professional cyclists and they are well paid and coddled these days. Of course it's a business. How do you think they all get paid? The Coast of Britain is only 21 miles from the coast of France. Grow up.
Andrew Smith More than 1 year ago
Oh my! Most of you sound like the same goofs who said this year's tour was boring. Any true fan of cycling loved the class Team Sky showed(hopefully clean). A Grand Depart in the UK is awesome for cycling and all the players involved. Qatar might be another story :)
meltonhill More than 1 year ago
Re Yorkshire Cyclists: ...Tommy Simpson's home village of Harworth, near Doncaster should surely get a visit! There's a monument there at the roadside near to the village miners' welfare, similar to the one on Mont Ventoux. Fantastic news that the Tour is coming to Yorkshire though (...I can't wait, a' tell thi' ! :0)
wiaruz More than 1 year ago
Isn't the tour all about money anyway nowadays regardless of where it starts? I for one think it's great having stages in one of the most beautiful parts of England. The stages can also be tough enough to avoid sprints. We'll see when the routes are published.
Tour de France 2013