Tour de France - 2014 Tour to start in Leeds

The first stage of the 2014 Tour de France will be between Leeds and Harrogate when the English county of Yorkshire hosts the "Grand Depart".

The July 5 start will be followed by stage two between York and Sheffield.

"It's going to go up and down all the time, like in the Liege-Bastogne-Liege classic," tour director Christian Prudhomme said after a presentation at the British ambassador's residence in central Paris.

The race will then take the peloton from Cambridge to London on day three with a stage finish at the Mall, where the Olympic road race ended. The Tour then returns to mainland Europe.

Team Sky rider Bradley Wiggins became the first Briton to win the Tour last year, raising the profile of cycling's most famous race in his country.

It will be the fourth time the Tour has been to Britain after visits in 1974, 1994 and 2007.

"It's a world-class location for a world-class race and a fitting backdrop for a grand depart," said Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire.

"The success of Britsh riders, especially Bradley Wiggins on the Tour, and the success of the British track cyclists (at the Olympics) made that we are coming back to Britain earlier than expected," said Prudhomme.

Yorkshire beat the challenge of Florence to host the Grand Depart.

Stage one - Saturday, 5 July

A-Leeds - B-Harewood - C-Otley - D-Ilkley - E-Skipton - F-Kettlewell - G-Aysgarth - H-Hawes - I-Reeth - J-Leyburn - K-Ripon - L-Harrogate

Stage two - Sunday, 6 July

A-York - B-Knaresborough - C-Silsden - D-Keighley - E-Haworth - F-Hebden Bridge - G-Elland - H-Huddersfield - I-Holmfirth - J-Sheffield

Stage three - Monday, 7 July

A-Cambridge - B-Epping Forest - C-The Olympic Park - D-The Mall