English county Yorkshire to host start of 2014 Tour de France
December 14, 2012 -- Updated 1815 GMT (0215 HKT)
Shake on it. Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, and Tour organizer Christian Prudhomme seal the 2014 deal.
- 2014 Tour de France will start in Northern England
- County of Yorkshire will host the first two stages
- Third stage to finish in London which held the opening stage in 2007
- Britain's Bradley Wiggins won the 2012 Tour de France
(CNN) -- The 2014 Tour de France will start in Northern England for the first time, organizers of cycling's most prestigious race announced Friday.
The first two stages of the 101st edition of the Tour will take place in the county of Yorkshire, with Leeds the host city of the Grand Depart.
The third stage will move south with the finish in London, which successfully hosted the start of the 2007 Tour de France.
British riders dominated this year's Tour as Bradley Wiggins recorded a memorable victory with his teammate Chris Froome in second place, while sprinting star Mark Cavendish claimed three stage wins.
Wiggins went on to claim the gold medal in the men's time trial at the 2012 London Olympics, as millions crammed the roadside to watch his heroics.
Wiggins 1st Briton to win Tour de France
Why is Britain so good at cycling?
Christian Prudhomme, the director of the Tour de France, said this had been a major factor in their decision.
"Since the resounding success of the Grand Depart in London in 2007, we were very keen to return to the United Kingdom,
"Bradley Wiggins' historic victory last July and the enormous crowds that followed the cycling events in the streets of London during the Olympic Games encouraged us to go back earlier than we had initially planned.
Read: The globalization of the Tour de France
"Yorkshire is a region of outstanding beauty, with breathtaking landscapes whose terrains offer both sprinters and attackers the opportunity to express themselves," he added.
Yorkshire is the biggest county in England and is the home of three notable former Tour de France riders in Brian Robinson, the first Britain to win a stage of the Tour de France in 1958, Barry Hoban, who won eight stages and Malcolm Elliott, the first British rider to hold the green points jersey in the three-week race.
The region is likely to reap an economic benefit from hosting two stages, with an estimated two million people watching the equivalent legs of the 2007 race in the British capital and the southern county of Kent, bringing $141 million in extra revenue, according the the main backer of the start, Transport for London.
Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, the agency behind the county's bid, said they were proud to have been selected.
"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, " he said.
Since its inception in 1903, the Tour de France has become one of the top global sporting events with millions of fans lining the 3,500km route to cheer on the peloton.
Part of complete coverage on
Photographer Danny Lyon spent three days with Muhammad Ali in 1972 and shares his best photos and memories of the champ.
March 4, 2014 -- Updated 2048 GMT (0448 HKT)
From LeBron James in a mask to spectacular cycling crashes -- check out some of the best images from the sporting world.
February 25, 2014 -- Updated 1254 GMT (2054 HKT)
With a growing audience boosted by the drama of ice hockey on show in Sochi at the Winter Olympics, can the sport capitalize on its popularity?
January 20, 2014 -- Updated 1125 GMT (1925 HKT)
Her paintings may sell for thousands of dollars, but she is best known for a modeling shot 50 years ago that helped launch a business empire.
January 9, 2014 -- Updated 1701 GMT (0101 HKT)
When the eye of the storm closes in most people head home -- but for these surfers it's a different story.
January 6, 2014 -- Updated 1445 GMT (2245 HKT)
Gareth Evans is a school teacher in South Africa. In 1983, he attended a "rebel tour" cricket match against the West Indies.
December 17, 2013 -- Updated 1507 GMT (2307 HKT)
In the wake of protests in his native Ukraine, heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko has turned his back on boxing to focus on his political ambitions.
August 9, 2013 -- Updated 0920 GMT (1720 HKT)
The Olympics must use its global reach and immense popularity to help save a generation, says sporting icon Sergei Bubka.
August 7, 2013 -- Updated 1632 GMT (0032 HKT)
CNN's Fred Pleitgen exposes a history of German government-funded doping throughout the Cold War.
April 9, 2013 -- Updated 1628 GMT (0028 HKT)
A six-day run that covers more than 220 km through the scorching heat of the Sahara desert has been billed as the "World's toughest race."
April 10, 2013 -- Updated 1149 GMT (1949 HKT)
He plays the only sport approved by the Taliban, a game he learned as a war refugee in Pakistan.
April 4, 2013 -- Updated 1746 GMT (0146 HKT)
How do you like your sport? Blood, sweat, tears and a nailbiting finish, no doubt. But what about death?
April 5, 2013 -- Updated 0934 GMT (1734 HKT)
Disgraced doper Lance Armstrong's quest to take part in a swimming event in Texas appears to have been sunk before he's even hit the water.
Today's five most popular stories