Le Grand Départ sau startul oficial al ediţiei de anul viitor a Turului Franţei va avea loc în Anglia, potrivit unui anunâ făcut astăzi de reprezentanţii cursei.
Ediţia cu numărul 101 a Turului va porni din Yorkshire, iar două etape mai târziu, va ajunge în Londra.
Prima etapă este anunţată pentru sâmbătă, 5 iulie 2014, cu plecare din faţa Primăriei din Leeds. Etapa va avea acoperi 190 km prin zone rurale din Anglia şi va traversa inclusiv faimosul Yorkshire Dales National Park, pentru a ajunge apoi în Harrogate, unde va fi oferit şi primul tricou galben al Tour de France 2014. A doua zi, riderii vor pleca din York for Sheffield pentru un traseu de 200 km al cărui va semăna cu Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
După două etape în Yorkshire, plutonul se va îndrepta, luni, pe 7 iulie, spre Londra, pornind din University City of Cambridge. Traseul va trece de Parcul Olimpic, va continua pe malul Tamisei şi va trece pe lângă cele mai faimoase monumente londoneze, precum Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey etc. Finish-ul – în faţa Palatului Buckingham!
“Yorkshire is a region of outstanding beauty, with breath-taking landscapes whose terrains offer both sprinters and attackers the opportunity to express themselves. We have encountered a phenomenal desire to welcome the Tour de France and no doubt that popular acclaim will be particularly in evidence over there. The Grand Départ of the Tour de France 2007 in London, the first ever organised in the United Kingdom, will remain unforgettable. We are very glad to return, seven years after, to this magnificent city.”
- Christian Prudhomme, Tour de France Director.
“The routes of the Grand Départ will showcase some of Yorkshire’s iconic cycling climbs and the county’s stunning land and cityscapes. The peloton will be technically tested as they tackle some challenging terrain in what are sure to be two exhilarating days of racing in the county. The British public’s response since the news broke that the 2014 Grand Départ would be hosted in Yorkshire has been overwhelming and I am sure the route announcements today will encourage even more people to come to the county to experience for themselves the phenomenon that is Le Tour”.
- Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire.
“As a city we are absolutely thrilled to be hosting the start of the world’s largest annual sporting event in 2014, and speaking personally as an avid fan of the Tour de France and keen cyclist for over 25 years, I am incredibly proud and excited that Leeds has been given the honour of starting this amazing and legendary race. The Grand Départ is going to be a real celebration for everyone in the city and our very special guests from all over the globe to enjoy, highlighting the best that Leeds and Yorkshire has to offer for a few days that none of us will ever forget.”
- Keith Wakefield, Leader of Leeds City Council.
“It has been the most incredible epoch in the history of cycling that any of us can remember; and I am absolutely delighted that the world’s greatest cycling race is coming to the capital. People will see London framed by shooting velocipedes for what will be a fantastic spectacle of sport. I am going to be in the crowd and I hope thousands more will too.”
- Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London.