YOUNG athletes who have received grants from a sports charity will meet the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as part of royal engagements during the Yorkshire Tour de France weekend.
Sports fans William, Catherine and Harry will meet cyclists as they line up at Harewood House for the Ceremonial Start, and will officially start the race on Saturday July 5.
And later that day they will follow the 22 cycling squads, who will have made their way through Otley, Ilkley and Skipton before entering the Yorkshire Dales National Park and on to Harrogate, for the culmination of Stage One.
The royal party will watch the cyclists cross the finish line in the spa town, where they will also meet young athletes who have received grants from SportsAid, a charity of which the Duchess of Cambridge is patron.
The Duke, Duchess and Prince Harry will also present awards to the Stage One winners.
The Royal Family’s younger generation already showed a passion for cycling during the London 2012 Olympics, where they watched Team GB strike gold on the velodrome track.
The 101st tour will feature two more stages in Britain before heading across the English Channel.
On the second day of the race, the cyclists will ride from York to Sheffield, while on the third they will go from Cambridge to London.
It will be the first time the Tour de France has come to Britain since 2007, when there was a prologue in London followed by stage one down to Canterbury.
Team Sky rider Chris Froome, whose mother was born in Harrogate, will be defending his champion’s yellow jersey after becoming the second ever Briton to win the race last year.
The 29-year-old was also the second Briton in a row to achieve endurance cycling’s most prestigious title after team-mate Bradley Wiggins won in 2012.