After weeks of waiting, the route for the Yorkshire leg of the 2014 Tour de France has been announced this morning. Race organisers confirmed last month that the Yorkshire-led bid had won the right to host the opening 'Grand Depart' of the world's most famous bike race.
The Tour will have two stages in Yorkshire, and the details of those have been confirmed with the Grand Depart from Leeds on July 5 taking a route through the Yorkshire Dales to Harrogate and a second stage from York to Sheffield.
The Yorkshire bid also had the support of Team Sky's Ben Swift, double Olympic track champion Ed Clancy, Barry Hoban, winner of eight stages of the Tour, and Malcolm Elliott, the first British rider to win a points jersey in a Grand Tour.
Stage One which starts on the Headrow in Leeds has been described has the romance and wonder of seven castles and seven abbeys as the riders sweep through some of Yorkshire's most picturesque landscapes.
- The Grand Depart starts in Leeds
- Moving on to the village of Otley
- Before arriving in Skipton - the gateway to the Yorkshire Dales
- From there it's through the rolling valleys of Wharfedale
- Before taking in the dramatic Aysgarth Falls
- The riders then take on the steep and exhausting Buttertubs Pass
- Then it's through to Swaledale
- The competitors then head to Bolton Castle
- And then onto Richmond Castle
- They then head through the racing town Middleham
- Cyclists travel through Ripon and end up at Harrogate Stray
Stage two of the route has been described as the 'Past, Present and Future.'
- It starts with York as the historic backdrop
- Before moving on through North Yorkshire to Knaresborough
- It takes in Bolton Abbey, Keighley and heading to Bronte Country in Haworth
- It's another tough climb through Cragg Vale
- And into the some of the toughest climbs in the Pennines
- Then it's onto Huddersfield, Holmfirth and High Peaks
- Riders then face the daunting Holme Moss climb
- Before descending to Sheffield where it finishes
The Olympic connection will see another stage of the race end in the Mall in central London - the finishing line for the road races at the London 2012 Games - after doing a circuit of the Olympic Park in Stratford.