The Harrogate district is to host the end of the first day of the Tour de France when the world’s most famous cycle race comes to Yorkshire in 2014.
Le Grand Départ will leave Leeds on Saturday, July 5 2014 and travel through the Dales before a sprint finish in Harrogate.
Harrogate, Masham, North Stainley, Ripon, South Stainley and Knaresborough will all feature of the famous race.
The route was announced at a press conference in Paris on the morning of Thursday January 17, followed by a public celebration in Leeds that evening.
Le Grand Départ is expected to attract more than a million spectators and a worldwide TV audience of more than two billion viewers.
Yorkshire’s biggest ever sporting coup is believed to be worth more than £100m to the region’s economy. Race organisers have visited the district examining logistical issues – cyclists and the Tour entourage will require 5,000 hotel rooms.
Ripon and Skipton MP Julian Smith has welcomed the news for his constituency.
He said: “I am delighted that the Tour de France organisers have recognised the unique beauty of my constituency. I have been working hard to ensure as many parts as possible are showcased.
“With a worldwide television audience of 3.5 billion people in 188 countries, this opportunity to promote where we live to tourists and where we work to businesses is too good to miss. Skipton, Ripon, Upper Wharfedale, and Masham will all benefit massively from this event and will give the Tour de France a great welcome.”
It will be the first time cycling’s signature event has been held in England since 2007. More than £100m was generated for London when the capital hosted the Tour’s opening race.
Leeds - Moortown - Harewood - Pool in Wharfedale - Otley - Ilkley - Addingham - Skipton - Threshfield - Kilnsey - Kettlewell - Aysgarth - Hawes - Reeth - Leyburn - Masham - West Tanfield - North Stainley - Ripon - down the A61 to Ripley - Killinghall - and finishing on Harrogate Stray.
York - Upper Poppleton - Green Hammerton - Knaresborough - Starbeck - Killinghall - Harrogate - Blubberhouses - Beamsley - Addingham - Silsden - Keighley - Haworth - Hebden Bridge - Halifax - Huddersfield - Sheffield