The route of the 2014 Tour de France was unveiled today, with the Grand Depart being held in Yorkshire on July 5.
Race organizers today revealed that it will begin with three days action in England – featuring two stages in Yorkshire and a Cambridge to London third stage – before moving across the channel for stage four.
The 101st Tour will include five mountain finishes and a day on the cobbles of northern Europe, in what will be a climber-friendly 3,656km route, unveiled at a lavish presentation ceremony in Paris.
Tour race director Christian Prudhomme said:
"Never before has the Tour de France climbed so high. In 2007 the Grand Depart in London was unforgettable but we hadn’t expected to return just seven years later.
"Yorkshire won us over with its beautiful landscapes and diversity of terrain for cyclists."
For defending champion Chris Froome, the route announcement was a mixture of good and bad news.
The Tour’s mountain stages will favor him as one of the best climbers in the world – he won two of the four summit finishes during the 2013 TDF – while it will also see him return to the site of his first stage victory at the ski stations of La Plandhe des Belles Filles.
However, Having admitted to fears about racing on cobbled roads, Froome must negotiate nine sections of cobbles during the fifth stage, which will commemorate the First World War, 100 years on, by taking the riders on a 156km route from Ypres in Belgium to Arenberg Port du Hainot in France.
2014 Tour de France route:
Stage 1: Saturday, July 5 – Leeds to Harrogate – 191km
Stage 2: Sunday, July 6 – York to Sheffield – 198km
Stage 3: Monday, July 7 – Cambridge to London – 159km
Stage 4: Tuesday, July 8 – Le Touquet Paris-Plage to Lille – 164km
Stage 5: Wednesday, July 9 – Ypres to Arenberg Port du Hainot – 156km
Stage 6: Thursday, July 10 – Arras to Reims – 194km
Stage 7: Friday, July 11 – Epernay to Nancy – 233km
Stage 8: Saturday, July 12 – Tomblaine to Gerardmer – 161km
Stage 9: Sunday, July 13 – Gerardmer to Mulhouse – 166km
Stage 10: Monday, July 14 – Mulhouse to La Planche des Belles Filles – 161km
Tuesday, July 15 – First rest day
Stage 11: Wednesday, July 16 – Besancon to Oyonnax – 186km
Stage 12: Thursday, July 17 – Bourg-en-Bresse to Saint-Etienne – 183km
Stage 13: Friday, July 18 – Saint-Etienne to Chamrousse – 200km
Stage 14: Saturday, July 19 – Grenoble to Risoul – 177km
Stage 15: Sunday, July 20 – Tallard to Nimes – 222km
Monday, July 21 – Second rest day
Stage 16: Tuesday, July 22 – Carcassone to Bagneres-de-Luchon – 237km
Stage 17: Wednesday, July 23 – Saint-Gaudens to Saint-Lary-Soulan Plat d’Adet – 125km
Stage 18: Thursday, July 24 – Pau to Hautacam – 145km
Stage 19: Friday, July 25 -Maubourguet Pays du Val d’Adour to Bergerac – 208km
Stage 20: Saturday, July 26 – Bergerac to Perigueux – 54km individual time trial
Stage 21: Sunday, July 27 – Evry to Paris – 136km
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