Boris 'delighted' Tour de France is coming to London
London mayor Boris Johnson said: "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."
Stage Three of the Tour de France next summer is expected to start in Cambridge and head south to London before making a circuit of the Olympic Park. It's reported it'll ultimately finish on the Mall with Buckingham Palace as a backdrop.
The finish will be the same one used for the Olympic road races last summer.
More than a million spectators watched the prologue in Central London in 2007 and police estimated more than 1.5 million people were roadside the following day for stage two to Canterbury.
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.
Stage two of the Tour de France, described as the "past, present and future" section starts in historic York, heading for Knaresborough, the site of Mother Shipton's Cave, then onto Bolton Abbey, Keighley, the Bronte village of Haworth, then over to Hebden Bridge.
From there, riders face the the country's longest continuous climb up through Cragg Vale, then into the spine of the Pennines, Huddersfield, Holmfirth and the High Peaks. Next is the gruelling Holme Moss climb, descending into Sheffield where Stage Two will finish.
Stage One of the Tour de France, described as the "romance and wonder of seven castles and seven abbeys" begins in Leeds, with riders heading for Harewood House and onto Otley, home of Olympic Silver medallist Lizzie Armitstead.
From there it is over Ilkley Moor, to Skipton, through Wharfedale, to Aysgarth Falls and to Buttertubs Pass. The riders will then pass through Swaledale to the furthest corner of the Yorkshire Dales - the 14th Century Bolton Castle and onto Richmond Castle.
From there to Middleham then past the three abbeys.... Jervaulx, Rievaulx and Fountains, to Ripon with stage one finishing at The Stray in Harrogate.