Yorkshire To Host Tour De France.

14 December 2012, 12:20 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

It has been confirmed that Leeds City centre will play host to the very begining of the worlds most famous bike race.

Tour organisers selected Yorkshire ahead of a separate British-wide bid with an Edinburgh start, but that remains in the running for a future date.

Yorkshire will host the first two days of racing on July 5 and 6 before the Tour moves south for a third stage in southern England, with a finish in London.

As the host city of the Grand Depart, Leeds will host a cycling and arts festival to coincide with the arrival of the Tour.

More than a million people flocked to the streets of London for the opening prologue when the Grand Depart was last staged in Britain in 2007.

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, who were behind the county's bid said:

"Today is a proud day for everyone involved in the bid and the county as a whole.

"It will mean, less than two years after hosting the Olympics, the British public can look forward to another of the world's biggest sporting events coming to the country.

"I am in no doubt they will come to Yorkshire in their millions, lining the length and breadth of the route to cheer on the champions of world cycling and our home-grown British heroes.''

Yorkshire beat Barcelona, Berlin and Venice to get the race.