THE world’s best cyclists will descend on Cambridge later next year for the start of the third stage of the Tour de France.
The cyclists will make their way from the city on July 7 to the finish on The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace. The first two stages take place in Yorkshire.
Over the next few months, Cambridgeshire County and Cambridge City Councils will be working with Le Tour, Leeds City Council, Welcome to Yorkshire and partners to determine exactly where the stage will begin and agree a specific route to London.
Cllr Martin Curtis, CCC's cycling champion, said: "Today's announcement is fantastic news for Cambridgeshire. The Tour de France is one of the greatest sporting events in the world so it is a real honour for the county to host the start of the third stage of the 101st Tour. For me, this news cements Cambridgeshire's reputation as a place which has cycling in its DNA with thousands of people getting on their bikes every day.
"It is their enthusiasm, excitement and sense of anticipation which we will look to harness in the coming months as we prepare to host Le Tour, in the same way thousands of people came to welcome the Olympic Flame. For London 2012, created the opportunity to build a sporting legacy for future generations - Le Tour 2014 provides the chance to make good on the promises we all made last year."
Cllr Tim Bick, leader of CCC, said: "Cycling is in Cambridge's heart and soul from the students who cycle to our historic colleges to the workers who ensure the city leads the country in technology, science and innovation. This is why I am sure we are all excited by today's great news that Cambridge will be hosting the start of stage three of the Tour de France 2014. We have much to look forward to over the next 18 months as we prepare to welcome one of the world's premier sporting occasions.
"There is much to do but I am sure by working together with key local partners such as schools and cycling organisations we can showcase the best of Cambridge and Cambridgeshire to the world. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our colleagues in Yorkshire whose hard work and determination led to their successful bid and the chance for Cambridge to host Le Tour."
Christian Prudhomme, Tour de France director, said: "Yorkshire is a region of outstanding beauty, with breath-taking landscapes whose terrains offer both sprinters and attackers the opportunity to express themselves. We have encountered a phenomenal desire to welcome the Tour de France and no doubt that popular acclaim will be particularly in evidence over there. The Grand Départ of the Tour de France 2007, the first ever organised in the United Kingdom, will remain unforgettable. We are very glad to return, seven years after, to this magnificent city."