London's Mall, Olympic Park Included In 2014 Tour De France Route
The Tour de France in '14 "will begin in Leeds and include a third stage that finishes on the Mall in London, reprising the final scenes of the Olympic road races last year," according to John Westerby of the LONDON TIMES. Organizers of the Tour announced the routes for the first three stages of the '14 event Thursday morning, confirming that Yorkshire "will host the Grand Départ and the first two stages on July 5 and 6, before the race moves south for a stage starting in Cambridge, heading past the Olympic Park on its way to a finish in front of Buckingham Palace" (LONDON TIMES, 1/17). The BBC reported the opening stage of the '14 Tour "will take the riders north from Leeds through Otley, Ilkley and Skipton before heading into the Yorkshire Dales and ending on the Stray in Harrogate." Stage two heads west from York toward Haworth -- "the village that was home to the Bronte family -- and also passes through Holmfirth, the filming location for long-running BBC sitcom Last Of The Summer Wine, before reaching Sheffield." Tour Dir Christian Prudhomme said, "It's going to go up and down all the time, like in the Liege-Bastogne-Liege classic." Gary Verity, CEO of Welcome to Yorkshire, the agency behind the successful bid, added: "The routes of the Grand Départ will showcase some of Yorkshire's iconic cycling climbs and the county's stunning land and cityscapes" (BBC, 1/17).