Tour de France: Yorkshire to host start of 2014 race

Leeds will host the start of the 2014 Tour de France.

The Tour heads through Yorkshire on 5 and 6 July, before moving south for a third stage, finishing in London.

The race last visited the UK in 2007, when London hosted a prologue ahead of a road stage from the capital to Canterbury, attracting two-million spectators.

Yorkshire beat off the challenge of bids from Florence and Edinburgh to host the prestigious event.

However, Edinburgh remains in the running to host the Grand Depart at a future date.

The huge numbers who turned out to support the 2007 Grand Depart and the London 2012 road races show the passion we have for cycling

British Cycling president Brian Cookson

It will be the fourth time the Tour has visited Britain after previous visits in 1974 and 1994.

Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, hosted the 2010 Grand Depart, while the 2012 race started in Liege in Belgium and next year's 100th race will begin in Corsica.

Full details of the route will be announced at a news conference in Leeds and Paris on 17 January.

Leeds will host a festival of cycling and the arts to coincide with the arrival of the Tour.

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 have selected Yorkshire to be the host location of the 2014 Grand Depart.

"It will mean that, 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.

"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."

Race director Christian Prudhomme added: "Since the resounding success of the Grand Depart in London in 2007, we were very keen to return to the United Kingdom.

"Bradley Wiggins's historic 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."

From BBC

For your info Birmingham has its own Ballet Company Birmingham Royal Ballet, its own opera company doing modern opera not fat men and women being pushed round on casters "acting"and also hosts Welsh National Opera. The Ikon is a world class art gallery and the Museum and Art gallery excellent. As much if not more than Leeds. But you can always tell a Yorkshireman. Not much but you can tell him!

Now what a lot of Tolly Cobbold!

We know, Suzanne, that they named a Yorkshire beer after Brian, don’t we? …Theakston’s Old Peculier!

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OK, OK, you win. It is conditional on all cyclists wearing tutus and singing arias, but I'm sure that'll be appreciated in such a cultured metropolis.

and from the Leed website: Leeds is a creative city with a vibrant and distinctive cultural life. It's the only city outside London to have it's own Opera and Ballet companies, as well as being home to the largest music festival in the north. Our galleries showcase world class visual arts and sculpture in grand venues and even in the fresh open air. With fantastic venues and events all year round, you'll find plenty of ways to perfect 'The Art of Leeds Life'.

Young's Special from Wandsworth is better.. nja, nja

ok well what about all the fantastic Yorkshire Ales?

Eating properly with a knife and fork? A little civilised touch like that.

hey Brian - they can teach them how to make Yorkshire Pudding - what more do you need to know!

Couldn't it have been somewhere civilised Wootton Bassett, Worcester, Chippenham or Leamington Spa? You know, places where they speak real English and can teach a chap a thing or two, especially the French chaps ;-D

Heyup, lass. Tha can’t beat String O’Beads! Ahs a Leeds Loiner, thru and thru! It’s raht grand theere. You ask Jimmy Savile…on second thoughts,…don’t thee bother thisen.