Yorkshire has been selected as the starting destination for the 2014 Tour de France, it has been revealed.
The region, which was running against other areas within the UK, was confirmed as the winning bid by the tour’s organisers, the ASO on Friday morning. In addition a stage finish will be held in London.
It was selected ahead an all-British bid which was backed by the national cycling body.
“It is fantastic news that the 2014 Tour de France will start in Yorkshire and that this major sporting event will be back in the UK,” said Sandie Dawe, CEO at VisitBritain. “The beautiful countryside will be a wonderful backdrop and seen by an international audience as well as the thousands who will come to see the race.
“Cycling in the UK has received a welcome boost due to the success of team GB’s cyclists and Bradley Wiggins’s tour victory, so we hope that a Britain-wide bid will be successful in future years.”
VisitEngland’s chief executive James Berresford said:
“Congratulations to Yorkshire on winning the bid to host the Grand Départ of the Tour de France 2014. This is a fantastic opportunity for Yorkshire and will showcase to the world the outstanding beauty and breath-taking landscapes of this wonderful area of England. We look forward to working with Welcome to Yorkshire and their partners as well as the other areas of England which will host the Tour’s stages to make this a huge success for the whole country.
“We’ve shown this year that England can host the most prestigious sporting events in the world with warmth and panache. In 2014 we have another opportunity with the Tour De France and again in 2015 with the Rugby World Cup. Sport runs through the very fabric of this country and is an incredibly powerful tool to encourage visitors both from at home and overseas to take a holiday in England.”
The 2014 Grand Départ will be just the second time that the UK has hosted the start of the Tour after London staged the event in 2007.