Captions: Top image (right to left) Leader of Leeds City Council Cllr Keith Wakefield (furthest right), Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire Gary Verity, Gary MacGowan from Transport for London and Leader of Cambridge City Council Cllr Tim Bick (furthest left) at today's route announcement in Paris
Lower image: Pupils from Carr Manor Community School in Leeds who were guests at the event in Paris (both images courtesy of Welcome to Yorkshire)
The full detail of the route the world’s largest annual event the Tour de France will take through Leeds next summer has been announced today.
At its annual announcement event in Paris, race organisers Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) revealed the official route of the 2014 race including road-by-road details of the route the legendary cycle race will take through Leeds when the Grand Départ begins in the city on the morning of Saturday 5 July.
After completing the official signing-in ceremony in front of Leeds Town Hall, the world’s leading riders will then line up on The Headrow for the ceremonial start of the Tour de France. The initial non-racing rollout will see the peloton ride along The Headrow to Eastgate before turning left onto Regent Street and following the A61 Scott Hall Road and Harrogate Road through Moortown and Alwoodley and on to Harewood.
Turning left at Harewood, Le Tour will enter the Harewood Estate taking in the ‘Capability’ Brown-designed grounds and passing the historic Harewood House. Upon leaving the estate and turning left onto the A659, the 190-kilometre stage one officially begins, following Otley Road and Arthington Lane through Pool in Wharfedale and on to Otley.
The route then follows the A65 through Ilkley and Skipton, before turning north and heading through the Yorkshire Dales. The final element of the stage sees the route return south passing through Ripon before the finish in Harrogate.
Stage two sees the riders follow a hilly 200km test from York to Sheffield, while the final day of the Grand Départ starts in Cambridge and finishes in London.
Among those at today’s Paris announcement were pupils from Carr Manor Community School in Leeds, invited as guests of Tour organisers ASO.
Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Keith Wakefield said:
“The Tour de France Grand Départ will be the biggest event hosted in Leeds and Yorkshire in living memory. You can sense the anticipation level rising by the day as people start planning where they will watch from to be able to say ‘I was there’ at this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“We are immensely thrilled, excited and proud that this global event will be on our doorstep and creating a unique window for the world to see our city, county and country at its best.
“This is an unrivalled opportunity not only to raise the profile of Leeds and Yorkshire to new heights, but also to inspire people of all ages to get on bikes and create a lasting legacy that is fitting for such a sporting phenomenon. This journey has already started and I’m so pleased that a group of young people representing Leeds have been able to share today’s excitement and sample a flavour of what is yet to come.”
Director of the Tour de France Christian Prudhomme said:
“We are excited to take Le Tour back to Britain again. I know the Grand Départ in Yorkshire will be visually stunning and technically challenging and the third stage from the cycling city of Cambridge to the historic heart of London will provide a fitting finale.
“The British cycling fans are passionate people and I am sure they will line the routes of the three stages cheering the teams and riders all the way from Yorkshire to London, providing an unforgettable start to the 2014 Tour.”
Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire Gary Verity said:
“It was an honour to be able to represent Yorkshire at the presentation today and to showcase our proud county. Yorkshire’s will be the greatest Grand Départ in the history of the Tour de France. We will raise the bar for all future hosts with our Cultural Festival 100 days before the race, two stunning stages and a legacy that leaves a cycling imprint on the county which lasts for generations.
“The Grand Départ will put Yorkshire on the map as a destination capable of hosting world-class events in a world-class location, providing a springboard to greater things. We are excited, we are proud and we are ready to welcome the world.”
Among the festivities to be held in Leeds in the build-up to stage one will be the traditional presentation event where all the teams and riders are presented to the public. This event will take place in the new first direct arena on the evening on Thursday 3 July.
For those keen to view the race as it journeys through Leeds, there will be spectator ‘hubs’ including family-focused activities at Scott Hall playing fields and Harewood House with other locations also being discussed.
Also announced today was that the route of stage one is to start to be permanently waymarked so cyclists and motorists can follow the stage themselves in the build-up and following the Grand Départ.
Aside from the events directly around the Grand Départ, the 100 days leading up to the event will also see a cultural festival organised by Welcome to Yorkshire supported by Arts Council England taking place celebrating the best of the arts in Leeds and the county.
Routes of the Grand Départ including interactive maps can now be seen at a new version of the official website – www.letouryorkshire.com.
It is estimated that 98 per cent of the population of Yorkshire will be within an hour of the route during its two days in the county, with the economic benefit of the opening stages expected to be in excess of £100m.
Planning for the Grand Départ of the 2014 Tour de France is being co-ordinated by TDF HUB 2014 Ltd, a not-for-profit company set up by UK Sport, working with local authorities, Welcome to Yorkshire and other partners. It is headed by Sir Rodney Walker, the former chair of UK Sport.
For media enquiries please contact:
Leeds City Council press office,
Tel 0113 247 5472