Leeds Arcade picture by Flickr user Eric The Fish (2012)

The recent success of the Tour de France has helped to cement the decision to have Yorkshire host the start of the Tour de France in 2014.

The county beat off worldwide competition to host the Grand Départ, the prestigious opening few days of the cycling race. The host city will be Leeds, which will also host an arts and cycling festival to coincide with the tour. Details of where the race will travel through after Leeds are yet to be released, but will likely go through Scarborough, York and Sheffield.

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, the agency behind the county’s bid, said: “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.”

The first two days of the race will be held in the county on 5th and 6th July 2014, before moving to a third stage somewhere in southern England, finishing in London before continuing on to France.

VisitBritain CEO Sandie Dawe said: “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. 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.”

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