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Witness the First Stages of the Tour de France Right Here in Leeds

20 May 2014

Historic Summer Ahead as Tour de France 2014 to start in Leeds

The world's most watched annual sporting event, the Tour de France, will see its first stage of the 2014 tour begin in Leeds. The 190km first stage will start in the city centre, before winding its way through Yorkshire, passing Otley, Ripon, Middleham and others, before reaching the finish line in Harrogate. 'Le Grand Départ', as the opening of the race is referred to, will remain in Yorkshire for the second stage. This time, it will be a 200km hill stage starting in York, which will pass through Huddersfield, and come to a close in Sheffield.

The Tour De France has held its opening stages in countries other than France before, including in 2007, when it began in London. The idea of this is to give eager audiences the chance to see some of the world's most finely-tuned athletes in action on the roads. Preparations for the Leeds leg of the tour have been ongoing for years, and there's now only 6 weeks left before local residents will be able to line the streets and see their heroes battle it out for the coveted yellow Jersey.

The UK has seen its fair share of success in the tour over recent years, with Olympic Hero Sir Bradley Wiggins becoming the first British winner in 2012, and his Team Sky teammate Chris Froome winning it in 2013. The two riders will both undoubtedly be hoping for success again, with Wiggins recently winning the Tour of California, and targetting a return to the Tour de France after his absence last year.

Leeds has always been a hotbed of sport. There is the famous Leeds United Football Club, which can still attract over 30,000 supporters to Elland Road on a regular basis, despite being in the second tier of English football. Rugby is also a popular spectator sport in the city, with the vastly-successful Leeds Rhinos representing the Rugby League side of the game, and Leeds Carnegie flying the flag for Rugby Union. Cricket is also popular, with Yorkshire County Cricket Club playing their home matches at the Headingly cricket ground in the city.

The countdown to the Tour de France is well and truly underway, with only less than two months until it all kicks off on 5th July. In addition to lining the streets to watch the action, 'Fan Parks' will be set up across the UK, giving cycling fans a chance to watch the racing on big screens, while enjoying the party atmosphere and (hopefully) good weather.

Stay at 42 the Calls for Le Grand Départ

If you've been bitten by the Tour de France bug, make sure you're able to claim your spot along the route to watch the cyclist race by. By staying at 42 the Calls, you're guaranteed a restful night's sleep, and a hearty Yorkshire breakfast, all of which set you up for a busy day of taking in all the cycling action.

To find out more and book your say, call +44 (0)113 244 0099

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42, The Calls, Leeds, LS2 7EW, Tel: +44 (0) 113 244 0099, Fax: +44 (0) 113 234 4100,