Tour de France 2014 stage 1 to be permanently signposted

New Le Tour Yorkshire website unveiled and grand départ sportive announced

Stage 1 of the Tour de France in Yorkshire will be permanently signposted so cyclists can follow the 190km stage from Leeds to Harrogate for years to come.

On the day the route of the 101st Tour de France was officially unveiled, Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said the 2014 grand départ will be the "greatest 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," he said.

Permanent signage on the route which will pass a cycling festival at Harewood House before heading into the Yorkshire Dales should be complete by January 2014.

Verity also announced plans were afoot to put on an official grand depart sportive. This will be in addition to the Etape du Tour, which will take place on 20 July using the route of stage 18 of the Tour de France.

Tour director Christian Prudhomme – who wore a yellow Le Tour Yorkshire lapel badge for the presentation – added his voice of support to the British element of the French race. "We are excited to take Le Tour back to Britain again," he said. "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 2014 Tour de France kicks off on 5 July.

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