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Yorkshire to Host Tour de France in 2014

breaking news

10:32am 14th December 2012
(Updated 1:16pm 14th December 2012)

Yorkshire will host the Tour de France next year.

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.

“It will mean less than two years after hosting the Olympics the British public can look forward to another of the world’s biggest sporting events coming to the country, and I am in no doubt they will come to Yorkshire in their millions, lining the length and breadth of the route to cheer on the champions of world cycling and our home grown British heroes.

“Yorkshire is a passionate county of proud people and I am sure they will guarantee that their Grand Départ raises the bar in terms of expectations for all future hosts to come.”

The county will host the first two days racing on the 5th and 6th July before the Tour moves south for a third stage in southern England, with a finish in London.

Christian Prudhomme, Tour de France Director, said: “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. 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.”

The county's bid has the high profile support of former world champion and Tour de France sprint star Mark Cavendish, Team Sky’s Ben Swift and Olympic gold medallist Ed Clancy as well as former Tour legends from the county, Brian Robinson - the first Briton to win a stage of the Tour de France in 1958 - Barry Hoban - winner of eight stages of Le Tour - and one of Britain’s most successful and best loved riders, Malcolm Elliott the first British rider to win a points jersey in a Grand Tour.

The successful bid has been supported within the county by local authorities including Kirklees, Calderdale, North Yorkshire County Council, Bradford, Wakefield, York and Leeds City Council, Leeds and Partners and Leeds City Region Partnership. The bid also has full cross-party political support and buy-in from the business community.

The public campaign to ‘Back le Bid’ resulted in over 170,000 pledges of support to bring the Tour de France to Yorkshire and high profile backing from the likes of the French President, François Hollande.

The full statement from organisers ASO reads:

The organisers of the Tour de France are pleased to announce that the Grand Départ 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 Départ of the 101st edition of the Tour will take place on 5th July in Leeds in the county of Yorkshire.

Seven years after the Grand Départ 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 Départ and the stages it will include will be revealed at a press conference that will take place on Thursday 17th January 2013, in two phases, in both Leeds and Paris.

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