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Tour de France signs announced

Tour de France signs announced

Published at 5:13pm 23rd October 2013. (Updated at 8:31am 20th January 2014)

Yorkshire stole the show in Paris at the official launch of next year's Tour de France.

Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, formally presented the county to nearly 5,000 journalists from all over the world as proud hosts of the Grand Départ and revealed three new announcements to celebrate the visit of the world’s greatest cycling race.

The route of Stage 1 will be permanently waymarked with new signage so that cyclists and motorists can follow it for years to come.

Early plans are being drawn up for a sportive which would see cyclists riding the Grand Départ route in the weeks before the professional peloton.

There are also plans to use the visit of the Tour de France as a catalyst to attract more international cycle races to Yorkshire as part of the Grand Départ Legacy programme.

A new version of the official website has also been launched, with interactive maps of the two stages showing them in greater detail.

Mr Verity said: "It was an honour to be able to represent Yorkshire at the presentation today and to showcase our proud county. Yorkshire’s will be the greatest Grand Départ in the history of the Tour de France.

"We will raise the bar for all future hosts with our Cultural Festival 100 days before the race, two stunning stages and a legacy that leaves a cycling imprint on the county which lasts for generations.

"The Grand Départ will put Yorkshire on the map as a destination capable of hosting world class events in a world class location, providing a springboard to greater things. We are excited, we are proud and we are ready to welcome the world."

Christian Prudhomme, director of Le Tour, added: "We are excited to take Le Tour back to Britain again. I know the Grand Départ in Yorkshire will be visually stunning and technically challenging and the third stage from the cycling city of Cambridge to the historic heart of London will provide a fitting finale.

"The British cycling fans are passionate people and I am sure they will line the routes of the three stages cheering the teams and riders all the way from Yorkshire to London, providing an unforgettable start to the 2014 Tour."

The first phase of new waymarked signs are being installed by North Yorkshire County Council along the route of Stage 1.

Approximately 50 will be used to guide people around the route, with most of the signs in place by early 2014.

Welcome to Yorkshire led the winning bid to bring the Grand Départ to the county on 5 and 6 July.

The first stage races from Leeds to Harrogate via the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the second stage races from York to Sheffield via Knaresborough and Harrogate.