Tour de France coming to Yorkshire

Barry Hoban
Barry Hoban
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THE Tour de France is coming to Yorkshire in 2014.

The greatest bike race in the world will begin in Leeds on July 5, 2014.

The county will host two days of racing but the exact route will be revealed at a press conference in January.

Wakefield Council was one of many local authorities who supported tourism agency Welcome to Yorkshire’s Back Le Bid campaign.

Stanley-born cyclist Barry Hoban, who won eight stages of the Tour between 1967 and 1975, also championed bringing it to Yorkshire.

More than a million people could line the route given the benchmark set by this summer’s Olympic torch relay in Yorkshire.

And it could bring in more than £100m to the Yorkshire economy given past Tour figures.

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, 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 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.”

The news builds on the back of a magnificent year for British cycling as Bradley Wiggins won this year’s Tour de France and Olympic gold in the individual time trial.

Yorkshire has beaten worldwide competition to bring the world’s largest annual sporting event to the county.

Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme, Tour de France Director, said: ”Yorkshire is a region of outstanding beauty, with breathtaking landscapes whose terrains offer both sprinters and attackers the opportunity to express themselves.”