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article imageCycling: Tour de France 2014 — Three stages in UK unveiled

By Robert Myles     Jan 18, 2013 in Sports
Following the December announcement that the 2014 Tour de France would start in Yorkshire, UK, the Tour de France organisers have now revealed a number of British stages in the 2014 Tour de France schedule.
As reported in Digital Journal last month, the Tour de France 2014 will start in the UK. Speaking at a press conference in Leeds Town Hall, yesterday, Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme unveiled that not only would the start of the race — Le Grand Départ — take place in Yorkshire, but there will be a total of three stages in the UK.
Map showing the route of the first stage of the Tour de France 2014  departing from Leeds  through t...
Map showing the route of the first stage of the Tour de France 2014, departing from Leeds, through the Yorkshire Dales National Park and ending at Harrogate.
Tour de France Press Office
The 170 kilometre first stage will see the 2014 Tour de France set off on July 5 2014, from Leeds Town Hall and pass through the Yorkshire Dales National Park to the finish in Harrogate, reports Sport Business.
The 2014 Tour de France will head up hill and down dale in the picturesque setting of the Yorkshire ...
The 2014 Tour de France will head up hill and down dale in the picturesque setting of the Yorkshire Dales National Park in the UK.
Tour de France Press Office
Map showing stage 2 of the Tour de France 2014 from historic York  heading west  then south to finis...
Map showing stage 2 of the Tour de France 2014 from historic York, heading west, then south to finish at Sheffield.
Tour de France Press Office
The second stage will start from the historical city of York and cyclists will travel 200 kilometres, passing through Keighley and Huddersfield, en route to the stage finish in Sheffield, also in Yorkshire.
York Minster in the historic city of York  the venue for the start of stage 2 of the Tour de France ...
York Minster in the historic city of York, the venue for the start of stage 2 of the Tour de France 2014 in the UK
Tour de France Press Office
Map showing the provisional route for stage 3 of the Tour de France 2014 from Cambridge  south throu...
Map showing the provisional route for stage 3 of the Tour de France 2014 from Cambridge, south through Epping Forest, to fininsh n The Mall in London.
Tour de France Press Office
The Tour de France will then move south for the third stage starting in another historic location, Cambridge.
The historic architecture of King s College in Cambridge. The third UK stage of the Tour de France 2...
The historic architecture of King's College in Cambridge. The third UK stage of the Tour de France 2014 will depart Cambridge and head south through Essex to London.
By Dcrjsr (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons
The 170 kilometre third stage will see cyclists meander through Essex, taking in Epping Forest before passing London’s Olympic stadium heading to a sprint finish along The Mall in London, in the shadow of Buckingham Palace.
The Mall in London  the finishing straight for stage 3 of the Tour de France 2014 in the UK.
The Mall in London, the finishing straight for stage 3 of the Tour de France 2014 in the UK.
By Gusim (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons
The remaining, continental European stages of the Tour de France 2014, for the most part over French roads, will be announced in Paris on October 23.
Although a native of the Isle of Man  British cycling ace Mark Cavendish has family connections with...
Although a native of the Isle of Man, British cycling ace Mark Cavendish has family connections with Yorkshire and acted as sports ambassador in bringing the Tour de France 2014 to Yorkshire.
By Antoine Blondin (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons
Leading British sprinter Mark Cavendish is likely to relish the opening stage in Yorkshire. Cavendish was an ambassador for Yorkshire’s successful bid to host the 2014 Le Grand Départ, winning out against competing bids from the cities of Florence in Italy and Edinburgh in Scotland.
The last time the Tour de France visited British shores was in 2007 when London hosted the prologue followed by a stage from London to Canterbury in Kent, the nearest British county to France. At that time, up to two million spectators were estimated to have lined the routes to watch the peloton, the phalanx of cyclists, as they sped past, reports the Daily Mirror.
Speaking on the Tour de France website, tour director Christian Prudhomme said,
“Unforgettable. That’s the word that springs to mind when I think about the Grand Départ of the Tour de France in London back in 2007, the first ever organised in Great Britain.
We hope and trust that the 2014 Grand Départ will be just as spectacular. This is my wish, and I don’t think I need to worry, as it seems very likely to come true given how impressed we were with the passion and desire of our friends from Yorkshire ever since we first met.
At that time, we were considering a return to the UK for the Tour in 2016-2017. That was before British cycling’s golden summer. Bradley Wiggins’ historic victory in the Tour de France combined with the phenomenal success of the cycling events during the Olympic Games convinced us that we should come back earlier and, to tell the truth, as quickly as possible.”
Bradley Wiggins wearing the leader s yellow jersey in the 19th stage near Chartres in France en rout...
Bradley Wiggins wearing the leader's yellow jersey in the 19th stage near Chartres in France en route to winning the Tour de France 2012.
By William Morice, via Wikimedia Commons
With British cyclists like Mark Cavendish, Chris Hoy, and Bradley Wiggins having been so much to the fore in the recent London 2012 Olympics, both in road races and in the velodrome, there can be little doubt that the 2014 Tour de France, which will see riders penetrate much deeper into the British countryside, will be likely to see the 2007 attendance figure exceeded by a wide margin.
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