The Tour de France's visit to the UK this summer was watched by crowds totalling 4.8 million people and generated around £128millionRead the full story ›
Chris Froome has confirmed he will ride in next year's Tour de France, ending speculation that the 2013 winner would instead focus on the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a Espana.
A statement released on Froome's official website today explains he "is motivated ahead of 2015 with the Tour de France again set to be the Team Sky rider's main focus."
Froome will be hoping to win the world's toughest cycling race for a second time after crashing out while defending his title this year.
"The Tour will remain my main focus for 2015,” he added. “The concept of doing all three Grand Tours in a season has got appeal but having said that, I know how hard it is to do two Grand Tours while targeting the overall win. At this point in my career I feel that the Tour takes priority."
The decisive moments of the 2015 Tour de France will take place at Alpe d'Huez after the route of the 102nd edition of the race was unveiled in Paris on Wednesday.
The Tour, which begins in Utrecht on July 4, promises to be thrilling, with defending champion Vincenzo Nibali, 2013 winner Chris Froome, two-time winner Alberto Contador and Giro d'Italia winner Nairo Quintana all chasing the yellow jersey.
The race concludes in Paris on July 26, after travelling through Holland and Belgium, continuing to commemorate World War One in northern France and then travelling to north western France.
There is a long transfer to the Pyrenees, but the decisive moments will take place in the Alps.
The penultimate stage will conclude with the ascent to Alpe d'Huez, with its fabled 21 hairpin bends, before the ceremonial finish in Paris.
The Russian businessman who owns one of cycling's largest professional teams has offered €1m to four riders if they compete in all three Grand Tours next year.
Oleg Tinkov bought Team Saxo-Tinkoff in 2013, and has offered the prize to Chris Froome, Alberto Contador, Vincenzo Nibali and Nairo Quintana in a bid to get all four to take part in Giro D’Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta a España in 2015.
The €1m fee would either be split among all riders or handed out to whoever performs best across the three events.
Speaking to Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport, he said:
“It comes from my desire to see all the great champions in the three biggest races of the year.
“We spoke about it in August and then at the Vuelta a España we were able to take our idea to David Brailsford of Sky, Alexandre Vinokourov of Astana, for Froome and Nibali. Now, we need to talk to Movistar for Quintana.”
Italian Vincenzo Nibali has won the 2014 Tour de France after enjoying a safe passage to Paris in the ceremonial final stage.
Germany's Marcel Kittel won the sprint finish on the Champs Elysees to take the race's 21st stage while Nibali came home safely with the main body of riders to complete his overall victory.
These pictures posted by Polish Tour de France competitor Bartosz Huzarski after the 18th stage show just how gruelling the competition is.
The photograph on his Facebook page sparked shocked reactions on social media claiming his legs were "unhealthy" and "unnatural."
But the 33-year-old wrote on his Facebook page it was normal for him and joked he "would never have legs like a Victoria's Secret model."
He said: "I did not expect that picture of my legs would cause the confusion it did.
“For me it’s totally not a revelation, because I can see this view - maybe not everyday – but still often, especially after a hard race at high temperature.
“People write and think different things, “that is impossible”, “that is not normal”, “it is unhealthy”, refer to doping, etc.
"Of course I will not have legs like models Victoria's Secret, or Ms.Mary from a nearby vegetable shop, or anyone who spending in the office half a day and 3 times a week will do 10 km bike or goes to an hour run."
Cyclist Chris Froome has tweeted that it is "time for some R & R" after an MRI scan revealed he had fractured both his left wrist and his right hand.
Last year's Tour de France winner sustained the injury when he fell during this year's race.
MRIs done, confirmed fractures to the left wrist & right hand. Time for some R&R...
He decided to withdraw from this year's Tour after falling on three separate occasions.
Britain's summer of sport has suffered another big set back as former Tour de France champion Chris Froome crashed out of the competition.
Froome pulled out of the competition his third crash in two days on stage five of the race.
ITV News Correspondent Paul Davies reports from northern France:
Former Olympic medalist and Tour de France cyclist Chris Boardman says the crashes that led Chris Froome to withdraw from this year's tour are "just part of cycling".
Boardman told ITV News:
"To be honest it's just part of cycling. Crashes happen and when we get weather conditions like that it happens a lot and it's just part of the cyclists pushing themselves to the absolute limit.
"Fortunately in cycling injuries are few and far between. For poor Chris Froome, three crashes in a row and it's just too much."
Defending champion Chris Froome said he is devastated he has had to withdraw from the 2014 Tour de France.
He crashed out on stage five today and told his Twitter followers that his wrist injury and tough conditions "made controlling my bike near to impossible".
Devastated to have to withdraw from this years TDF. Injured wrist and tough conditions made controlling my bike near to impossible.