Details of the opening three British stages of the 2014 Tour de France have been announced at a presentation in Paris on Thursday.
The race begins on July 5 with a road stage from Leeds to Harrogate, while the peloton remains in Yorkshire the following day with a stage from York to Sheffield. The third and final British leg of the 2014 Tour will be between Cambridge and London on July 7, before the riders proceeds to France via Eurostar.
The opening road stage will doubtless please Mark Cavendish, given that it has just one categorised climb and a long finishing straight on a light false flat in Harrogate. Stage two from York to Sheffield will be somewhat more exacting, however, with Tour director Christian Prudhomme describing the course as “worthy of Liège-Bastogne-Liège.” The stage will include no fewer than eight climbs, with six of them coming in rapid succession in the final 60 kilometres before Sheffield.
The 2014 Yorkshire Grand Départ marks the Tour’s second start in Britain after London in 2007. The Tour previously made incursions into Britain in 1974 and 1994.
A second presentation of the 2014 Tour's British stages will take place in Leeds on Thursday evening.
British stages of the 2014 Tour de France:
Stage 1, July 5: Leeds - Harrogate
Stage 2, July 6: York - Sheffield
Stage 3, July 7: Cambridge - London