Tour de France baton passes to Yorkshire for 2014 Grand Depart
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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tour de France baton passes to Yorkshire for 2014 Grand Depart

by Ben Atkins at 4:47 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 
“Now the work really begins” for northern English county

Gary VerityThe baton of the Tour de France was officially passed to the English county of Yorkshire after the conclusion of the 2013 edition, with an official handover ceremony on the Paris podium on Sunday night. Yorkshire will host the Grand Depart of the 2014 race, with the opening road stage between the cities of Leeds and Harrogate, while stage two will travel between historic York and the steel city of Sheffield.

The third stage will travel from the university city of Cambridge and the British capital London, before the race departs for the European mainland.

Paul Giacobbi, President of Corsica, the location of the 2013 Grand Depart, officially handed over to Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, just hours after Chris Froome (Team Sky) had become the second British rider to win the three-week race.

"It's been a long, exciting ride getting to this point and now the work really begins for us all,” said Verity. “Yorkshire has been thrust into the spotlight throughout this year since the announcement of our winning bid and we now look forward to welcoming riders and fans from across the country, and indeed the world, when Le Tour rides into our county next July.
 
“To have a British rider win the Tour again this year is just incredible,” he added, “and sets us up perfectly for next year and who knows – maybe a British hat trick?”

2014 will be the second time in seven years that the Tour de France has started in the UK, after the London prologue of 2007, which was followed by a “pilgrimage” stage to Canterbury. With the last two editions of the race having been won by British riders - in Froome and teammate Bradley Wiggins - the organisation sees it as appropriate for the race to begin in their home country.

“It has been a memorable hundredth edition of Le Tour this year and what better way to follow a British winner than for it to begin in the UK in Yorkshire next year,” said Race Director Christian Prudhomme. “We saw how passionate Yorkshire was about hosting the Grand Depart and we are confident it will be a wonderful spectacle.”

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