Mall finish for Tour's UK leg

The Mall in central London will be the finish for a stage of the Tour de France

The Mall in central London will be the finish for a stage of the Tour de France

First published in National Sport © by

The 2014 Tour de France will aim to recreate the excitement of last year's London Olympics by having a stage finish in the Mall, it has been announced.

The Tour will also have two stages in Yorkshire, and the details of those have been confirmed with the Grand Depart from Leeds on July 5 taking a route through the Yorkshire Dales to Harrogate and a second stage from York to Sheffield.

The Olympic connection will see another stage of the race end in the Mall in central London - the finishing line for the road races at the London 2012 Games - after doing a circuit of the Olympic Park in Stratford.

The first stage will see the riders go through Ilkley and Skipton, and then through the heart of the Dales via Kettlewell and Hawes to Leyburn in North Yorkshire before turning south through Ripon to the stage finish in Harrogate.

The second stage will begin in York and take in Keighley, Haworth, Hebden Bridge, Elland, Huddersfield and Holmfirth with a finish in Sheffield.

Christian Prudhomme, Tour de France director, confirmed the atmosphere of the Games had weighed heavily in the decision to return to Britain for the Grand Depart.

He added: "After the unforgettable 2007 Grand Depart in London the question was how long till we come back - 10 years? 12 years?

"But the amazing British summer for cycling convinced us to come back sooner and the truth is as soon as possible.

"Bradley Wiggins' historical victory last July and the enormous crowds that followed the cycling events in the streets of London during the Olympic Games encouraged us to go back earlier than we had initially planned.

"I did not realise Yorkshire was so gorgeous until I spent some days here some months ago. When we visited Yorkshire, it really captured our imagination and it has stayed long in our hearts."

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