Region awaits announcement of Tour’s Grand Départ route

The eyes of the world will be on Yorkshire tomorrow when the eagerly anticipated details of the Grand Départ’s route through the region will be announced.

Where the peleton will pass through the region during the opening two stages of the Tour de France next July will be revealed at two Press conferences in Paris and Leeds alongside other key announcements.

It is estimated around 98 per cent of the county will be within an hour of the route.

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Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “Thursday is set to be a memorable day for Yorkshire and the start of planning for 2014 has already begun.

“It is impossible for the race to go everywhere in Yorkshire and past everyone’s front door, as much as we would love it to.

“Ultimately the race organisers, ASO, have made the final decision on the route but we have worked hard with them to make sure it touches as many parts of the county as possible.

“The actual routes are only one part of a bigger picture for our great county, which will become clear later this week – and whether it comes past your home or 10 miles away, the whole of Yorkshire will benefit from this historic sporting coup.”

A free public celebration will be held outside Leeds Town Hall following the announcement.

The event, from 6pm to 7pm, will include the chance to win VIP tickets for the Tour de France in Yorkshire plus a firework display.

Leeds will be the official host city of the Grand Départ, with a festival of cycling and the arts taking place as the riders prepare to set off on their epic three-week journey to Paris on July 5 next year.

Bid officials are confident the Grand Départ will be worth more than £100m to the region’s economy, having generated around £88m for London and the South East in 2007.

The race is expected to attract more than a million spectators as well as a worldwide TV audience of 3.5bn viewers.

Around 2,000 journalists representing dozens of nationalities attend the Tour every year and 1,200 hotel rooms are reserved each night for the teams, staff, Press and tour personnel.