Harrogate, Sheffield, York and Cambridge confirmed as Tour de France stage towns

Gendarmes at Tour de France

Harrogate an

d Sheffield will both host stage finishes when the 2014 Tour de France starts in Yorkshire, it was confirmed today.

York and Cambridge were also named as start towns on the British stages.

Leeds and London had already been confirmed as the other two British stage towns when it was announced that Yorkshire had won the bid in December.

Details of the British stages were unveiled at a press conference in Paris this morning, with additional information set to be revealed at another function in Leeds this afternoon.

The opening stage on Saturday July 5 will be a road stage between Leeds and Harrogate. It will pass through Harewood, Otley, Ilkley, Skipton, Kettlewell, Aysgarth, Hawes, Reeth, Leyburn, Ripon and Harrogate.

Although weaving through the Dales, climbs are limited and it's likely to make for a flat sprint finish.

Stage two starts just down the road in York and promises to be a punchy day in the Pennines before a finish in Sheffield. The Tour organisers have made comparisons to Liege-Bastogne-Liege, with six climbs coming in the final 60km.

Along the way, the stage will pass through Knaresborough, Silsden, Keighley, Haworth, Hebden Bridge, Elland, Huddersfield and Holmfirth. Climbs are likley to include Oxenhope Moor, Cragg Vale, Ripponden Bank and Holme Moss.

After a transfer south, the third stage is a leg between Cambridge and London with a finish on the Mall. A report posted on the website of the Waltham Forest Guardian yesterday suggested that the route would enter London via Epping Forest, Lea Bridge Road and the Olympic Park.

The Tour de France last visited the UK in 2007 when London hosted the prologue time trial and the start of the first stage to Canterbury.

The Tour also visited the UK in 1994 and 1974.

Stage one: Leeds - Harrogate

Stage two: York - Sheffield

Stage three: Cambridge - London

Related links

Yorkshire to host start of 2014 Tour de France

Yorkshire Tour de France bid to be discussed by MPs

British Tour de France Grand Depart details unveiled

Yorkshire in formal bid to host Tour de France start

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