Tour de Yorkshire! Historic Grand Depart stage to be held in God's own county in 2014 (…and then it's on to London)
11:50 GMT, 14 December 2012
The historic Grand Depart of the Tour de France will be staged in Yorkshire in 2014, organisers announced today.
It follows a campaign by the Welcome to Yorkshire tourist agency to bring the prestigious event to the county.
Full details of the route will be announced in two press conferences held in Paris and Leeds on January 17, 2013.
It is believed there will be a stage in Yorkshire on July 5, 2014, starting in Leeds, and then a second stage the following day starting in the county and ending in London.
Leeds will host a Festival of Cycling to coincide with the stage.
Barnsley Wiggins Sky's Bradley Wiggins became the first Briton to win the Tour this year
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM T'TOUR
Allez 'Alifax. Vive la Dewsbury. How do Bienvenue.
Yes, the news that the 2014 Tour de France will begin in God's Own County is sure to provoke much mocking headline fun.
But just listen 'ere… First, Yorkshire conquered the Olympics last summer after winning gold after gold after gold (Nicola Adams, Alistair Brownlee, Jessica Ennis).
We're now putting India's cricketers to the sword in Nagpur thanks to Joe Root and Tim Bresnan. Now we've won the honour of launching the greatest race in the world.
Those of us lucky enough to have been born there – think Geoffrey Boycott, Dame Judi Dench, Richard Whitely, Sir Michael Parkinson, Arctic Monkeys, Alan Bennett, Harry Ramsden and Sooty (but not Sweep, that thug is clearly Lancastrian) – have long-since known Yorkshire is the biggest and best county.
And we'll revel in showing off our stunning scenery, cosmopolitan cities (erm… Leeds and Sheffield) and welcoming personalities.
Just don't expect us to get our round in.
Forget Le Tour, welcome to t'Tour. It'll be fan-bloody-tastic.
MARK ALFORD, Professional Yorkshireman
A statement from ASO read: 'The organisers of the Tour de France are pleased to announce that the Grand Depart 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 Depart of the 101st edition of the Tour will take place on July 5 in Leeds in the county of Yorkshire.
'Seven years after the Grand Depart 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 Depart and the stages it will include will be revealed at a press conference that will take place on Thursday January 17, 2013, in two phases, in both Leeds and Paris.'
British Cycling president Brian Cookson said: 'Like every other cycling fan, I am thrilled the world's biggest bike race is coming back to this country.
'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.
'I'm sure Yorkshire will give the 2014 Tour de France a welcome which will stand out in the race's rich history.'
Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, added: '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 Dpart.
'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.
World famous race: Scenes like this in France will be coming to Yorkshire in 2014
FRENCH TO YORKSHIRE TRANSLATOR
How many seconds in front of t’peloton – Combien de secondes d'avance sur le peloton
Look at ‘em overtaking the lad from t’Hovis ad – Regardez-les dpassements du jeune homme de l'annonce Hovis
What is this t’Yorkshire pudding – Quel est ce pouding Yorkshire
What time is t’Emmerdale t’on – Quelle heure est-Emmerdale t-il
Where is the statue of t’Eric Cantona – O est la statue d'Eric Cantona
Buy your bloody own – Achetez votre propre sanglante
'Yorkshire is a passionate county of proud people and I am sure they will guarantee that their Grand Dpart raises the bar in terms of expectations for all future hosts to come.'
MP for Leeds North West Greg Mulholland said:
'This is absolutely fantastic news for Yorkshire, to have won the bid to be hosting a stage of the Tour de France in the same year as the first ever British winner is sensational.
'The Tour de France is one of the biggest and most prestigious sporting events in the world and to think it will be coming through the cities, towns and streets of Yorkshire is so exciting and it will be a huge boost to the local economy as well as cycling.
'The Back Le Bid team have done a quite superb job and I want to pay tribute to their excellent campaign to show the organisers what Yorkshire has to offer. They have achieved something very special and historic that generations will both enjoy and treasure.'
It is the first time since 2007 the opening part of the Tour will be held in Britain. Then, one million people lined the streets of London for the opening prologue.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: 'I am thrilled that the Tour de France will return to the UK and no location could be better than London for what will no doubt be an exhilarating climax to the British section of the race.
'This year we proved our expertise not just in hosting world class sporting events, but in winning them too, and I am sure Bradley Wiggins and several of his compatriots will be hugely excited at the prospect of the Tour returning to their home streets.'
Tour organisers Maury Sports Organisation selected Yorkshire ahead of a separate British-wide bid with an Edinburgh start, but that remains in the running for a future date, possibly 2017.
An EventScotland spokesman said: 'It is disappointing that we have been unsuccessful for the 2014 Grand Depart but it is great news that the Tour is returning in 2014 following British cycling success this year.
'Our initial plans had highlighted 2017 as our preferred date and we have had a positive indication from ASO that the year is still a possibility.
'We have developed a great British bid with strong partners, which would deliver significant benefits to the whole country and we will continue our positive dialogue with ASO in the new year and look at our next steps.'
The 100th edition of the Tour begins in Corsica on June 29, 2013.
Britain's Bradley Wiggins is the defending champion, having become the first rider from this country to claim overall victory this summer.
Some of Yorkshire's beautiful scenery
Yorkshire immortalised in the famous 1973 Hovis advert