1. ITV Report

Tour de France - John Shires' blog from Corsica

The Tour De France Photo: ITV Sport

If you want to know what Yorkshire's in for next year when it stages Le Grand Depart - the opening stage - of the Tour de France, the answer is "plenty"!

Out here in Corsica, a couple of top men from Welcome to Yorkshire - which fronted the successful bid for the Tour - have been on a fact finding mission to see just what's involved.

I suspect that even they've been staggered by the interest in the Tour, and the sheer level of organisation required to put on what's officially the world's biggest annual sporting event.

Think of it like this. It is - as a couple of people have told me - like staging a World Cup final every day for three weeks.

Just a few stats: 12 million plus will be at the roadside to watch the race go past, and in 188 countries worldwide 3.5 billion will apparently watch it on TV.

To ASO - the organisation that runs the Tour - it doesn't even matter that Port Vecchio is not much bigger than Filey, and isn't equipped to house all the hundreds of officials and the 2000 press covering the event.

The answer - hire a ferry and moor it in the harbour! At least there shouldn't be a problem in Leeds next year as they've commandeered the new Arena as the Tour HQ.

The other thing that strikes you is the sheer accessibility of the cyclists. It's a free event, and spectators can get so close to the athletes.

What's more, most of them seem more than willing to chat to all and sundry - even the media!

Yes, Yorkshire - which holds the first two stages in 2014 - is in for a treat.