Riders can expect typical British summer weather

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Expect sunshine and showers, so say the weather forecasters, as the world’s greatest cyclists prepare pedal through the region for the Tour de France today.

Sunshine with the possibility of an occasional shower is predicted for the first day of the Grand Départ which starts today on the Headrow in Leeds at 11am and finishes in Harrogate late this afternoon, with heavy rain and lightning more likely on the Tour’s second day tomorrow.

But there is some solace for the region’s cycling fans who will be relieved to hear that the worst weather of the race’s three-day visit to this country appears to be expected for when the 198 riders arrive on The Mall in London on Monday.

MeteoGroup forecaster Matt Dobson said heavy rain overnight should have cleared by the time the race starts late this morning.

“The rain should clear by about 9am so it should be dry for the start,” Mr Dobson said.

“For much of Saturday it looks like being relatively dry but it won’t be quite as warm as it has been recently.

“I think there will be a reasonable amount of sunshine but there is a small chance of a shower in the afternoon.”

But he was not so optimistic about Sunday, when the riders will cycle from York to Sheffield.

“It’s going to be a lot more unsettled. We’ve got a band of fairly heavy showers moving eastward across Yorkshire. There’s a potential for some of these to be quite heavy and there could even be some lightning.

“But between the showers the sun will come out. It will be a typical summer’s day - sunshine and showers.

“Monday, though, could be worse with some heavy rain as the riders head into London.”

Sir Rodney Walker, chairman of TdFHUB2014 Ltd, the Government-created company overseeing the plans for the race, said he was looking forward to a great occasion regardless: “All of the final pre-event plans are now being put into action so I’m delighted to be able to say we are ready to deliver a historic spectacle for huge audiences at the roadside and those watching around the world to enjoy.”