December 8 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, January 17, 2013
The 2014 Tour de France will aim to recreate the excitement of last year’s London Olympics by having a stage finish in the Mall, it was announced today.
The Tour will also have two stages in Yorkshire, and the details of those have been confirmed with the Grand Depart from Leeds on July 5 taking a route through the Yorkshire Dales to Harrogate and a second stage from York to Sheffield.
The Olympic connection will see another stage of the race end in the Mall in central London - the finishing line for the road races at the London 2012 Games - after doing a circuit of the Olympic Park in Stratford.
London staged the opening prologue in 2007 - the last time the race came to England - with one million people lining the streets.
This will be the second time Britain has hosted the Grand Depart and the fourth visit in all following a single stage in Plymouth in 1974 and two across the south of England 20 years later.
The 2014 Tour will begin in Yorkshire.
Britain also boasts the reigning Tour de France champion, with Kilburn’s Sir Bradley Wiggins becoming the first man from these shores to win the event last July.
Tour director Christian Prudhomme said: “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.”