Tour de France 2014: Route starting in Yorkshire unveiled at ceremony in Paris
By Matt Westby. Last Updated: 23/10/13 5:00pm
The 2014 appears to suit Chris Froome perfectly
Chris Froome will defend his Tour de France title on a 2014 route containing five summit finishes, a day on cobbled roads and only one time trial, race organisers revealed today.
The reigning champion was among the riders and guests present as Amaury Sports Organisation unveiled a climber-friendly, 3,656km course at a lavish presentation ceremony in Paris.
The Grand Depart will be held in Yorkshire on July 5, with a rolling opening stage from Leeds to Harrogate being followed by a difficult second day boasting nine climbs from York to Sheffield.
The race will then head south for a sprint stage starting in Cambridge and ending on The Mall in London, before returning to France on stage four.
Route favours Froome
The fifth stage will commemorate the First World War by taking the riders over nine sections of cobbles totalling 15.4km on a 156km day from Ypres in Belgium to Arenberg Port du Hainot in France.
The race will then head to the Vosges and Alps ranges for three summit finishes at the ski stations of La Planches des Belles Filles (stage 10), Chamrousse (stage 13) and Risoul (stage 14) as the general classification is given its first major shake-up.
Next up are the Pyrenees for two more summit finishes, at the ski stations of Saint-Lary-Soulan Plat d'Adet (stage 17) and Hautacam (stage 18), before the Tour travels back north for a potentially race-deciding 54km individual time trial from Bergerac to Perigueux on stage 20 and the ceremonial sprint stage into Paris on stage 21.
It is the first time since 1953 that the Tour has included only one time trial and is the least amount of time-trialling miles in the race since 1934.
The route appears to ideally suit Froome, who is one of the best climbers and time-triallists in the world and won two of the four summit finishes in the 2013 Tour.
Tour race director Christian Prudhomme said: "Never before has the Tour de France climbed so high. In 2007 the Grand Depart in London was unforgettable but we hadn't expected to return just seven years later.
"Yorkshire won us over with its beautiful landscapes and diversity of terrain for cyclists."
Next year will be the fourth time the race has visited Great Britain and Yorkshire is poised to lay on two of the most difficult opening stages in its history.
The start of the Tour is generally flat in order to ease the riders into the racing, but 2014's first stage contains three categorised climbs, with the second hitting the riders with a barrage of steep climbs, including one in the final 5km with a maximum gradient of over 30 per cent.
Welcome To Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity said: "The Tour riders will compete in a unique environment and stunning scenery, some of the most beautiful in Great Britain.
"They will need to be ready to stand up and fight. They will be encouraged and supported by millions of fans."
The destination of the yellow jersey is likely to be decided in the Pyrenees and then the Bergerac time trial, with Froome expected to face a stiff challenge from the likes of Giro d'Italia winner Vincenzo Nibali and Colombian climbing expert Nairo Quintana.
2014 Tour de France route
Stage 1: Saturday, July 5 - Leeds to Harrogate - 191km
Stage 2: Sunday, July 6 - York to Sheffield - 198km
Stage 3: Monday, July 7 - Cambridge to London - 159km
Stage 4: Tuesday, July 8 - Le Touquet Paris-Plage to Lille - 164km
Stage 5: Wednesday, July 9 - Ypres to Arenberg Port du Hainot - 156km
Stage 6: Thursday, July 10 - Arras to Reims - 194km
Stage 7: Friday, July 11 - Epernay to Nancy - 233km
Stage 8: Saturday, July 12 - Tomblaine to Gerardmer - 161km
Stage 9: Sunday, July 13 - Gerardmer to Mulhouse - 166km
Stage 10: Monday, July 14 - Mulhouse to La Planche des Belles Filles - 161km
Tuesday, July 15 - first rest day
Stage 11: Wednesday, July 16 - Besancon to Oyonnax - 186km
Stage 12: Thursday, July 17 - Bourg-en-Bresse to Saint-Etienne - 183km
Stage 13: Friday, July 18 - Saint-Etienne to Chamrousse - 200km
Stage 14: Saturday, July 19 - Grenoble to Risoul - 177km
Stage 15: Sunday, July 20 - Tallard to Nimes - 222km
Monday, July 21 - second rest day
Stage 16: Tuesday, July 22 - Carcassone to Bagneres-de-Luchon - 237km
Stage 17: Wednesday, July 23 - Saint-Gaudens to Saint-Lary-Soulan Plat d'Adet - 125km
Stage 18: Thursday, July 24 - Pau to Hautacam - 145km
Stage 19: Friday, July 25 -Maubourguet Pays du Val d'Adour to Bergerac - 208km
Stage 20: Saturday, July 26 - Bergerac to Perigueux - 54km individual time trial
Stage 21: Sunday, July 27 - Evry to Paris - 136km