Le Tour welcomed with open arms

22 January 2013

The 101st edition of Le Tour will start from the county of Yorkshire with two attractive and spectacular stages before finally arriving in London, seven years after the success of the Grande Départ of Le Tour in 2007 and two years after the London Olympics.

The Grande Départ, which will commence on 5 July, will finish in Harrogate on day one, after starting in Leeds and go through Knaresborough on day two, after starting in York.


Councillor Anthony Alton, Leader of Harrogate Borough Council, has pledged his council’s support for the Tour de France Yorkshire Grand Depart.

Councillor Anthony Alton said:

Welcome to Yorkshire have done a fantastic job in winning this bid for Leeds and the wider region and, of course, locally we are all very excited that the Harrogate district has been chosen for two days of the race. The organisers wanted two different stages to begin with, two different challenges for the riders. They will certainly get that in North Yorkshire.

It is also very exciting that we will have the end of the first stage in Harrogate, the one that gives the first Yellow Jersey. We will have a big part to play in making sure it all runs smoothly for the organisers, the participants and spectators. This is going to be a huge boost for tourism for us.

Yorkshire has a lot to offer the Tour de France and for us the event will provide the opportunity to generate significant benefit for the district. It has already attracted major publicity and we can expect large numbers of day and staying visitors during the event and in the longer-term.

County Councillor John Weighell, the Leader of North Yorkshire County Council, welcomed the inclusion of lengthy stages of the Tour in North Yorkshire, and predicted major economic benefits for the county as a result.

County Councillor John Weighell said:

We are one of the sponsors of the bid, and we are absolutely delighted with today’s announcement of the route.

As one of the world’s premier sporting events, the Tour de France brings enormous international exposure and interest in its wake, and the inclusion of Yorkshire can only be excellent news for the economy of North Yorkshire, and its hugely important tourism businesses.


Christian Prudhomme, Tour de France Director
Christian Prudhomme, Tour de France Director


Christian Prudhomme, Tour de France Director, said:

Yorkshire is a region of outstanding beauty, with breathtaking landscapes whose terrains offer to all kind of riders the opportunity to express themselves. When we build the route of Le Tour, we look at both sporting aspects and the beauty of the route. I knew Yorkshire was a nice region but I didn’t imagine it corresponded so well to what we need for a perfect Grand Départ.

We wanted two different stages to begin with, two different challenges for the riders. The first stage, the one that will gives the first Yellow Jersey, might be perfect for sprinters, the second however will be probably be more suited to attackers and climbers, and the repetition of the hills in the last part, like in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, will definitely be worth seeing.


Gary Verity
Gary Verity

Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire said:

The routes of the Grand Départ will showcase some of Yorkshire’s iconic cycling climbs and the county’s stunning land and cityscapes. The peloton will be technically tested as they tackle some challenging terrain in what are sure to be two exhilarating days of racing in the county.

The British public’s response since the news broke that the 2014 Grand Départ would be hosted in Yorkshire has been overwhelming and I am sure the route announcements today will encourage even more people to come to the county to experience for themselves the phenomenon that is Le Tour.

Local MP says Harrogate and Knaresborough will welcome Le Tour with open arms

The MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough, Andrew Jones, says it is marvellous news that Harrogate and Knaresborough will both be a part of the Tour de France’s journey through Yorkshire.

Andrew, who is vice-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on the Tour de France’s Grand Départ in Yorkshire, assures that Harrogate’s famous hospitality will be on full display when the Tour finishes its first day on the Stray in Harrogate.

Andrew Jones MP said:

I am delighted with this news, and the people of Harrogate and Knaresborough will be excited that the route comes to this constituency twice and the swell of tourists will make the occasion unforgettable.

Having the route covering so much of Yorkshire’s iconic countryside is a great advertisement for this county, it will be broadcast to millions of homes across the world, and the viewers will not be disappointed.

What Harrogate and Knaresborough has to offer as a backdrop for great sport is just fantastic in terms of business facilities, accommodation, historic sites and beautiful scenery as well as many passionate sporting fans. So the ingredients are already here to warmly welcome the Tour with open arms.


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