Tour de France

TDF 2014 begins in Leeds

2014-07-05 14:53
Prince William (AFP)

Leeds - Prince William, his wife Catherine and Prince Harry took part in a royal opening ceremony in Leeds before the 2014 Tour de France began on Saturday.

The Duchess of Cambridge was given the honour of cutting the official start ribbon at Harewood House just outside Leeds before reigning champion Chris Froome and the rest of the peloton set off on the 190.5km opening stage around Yorkshire.

The three royal guests spoke to several riders at the ceremony including Froome, British sprint king Mark Cavendish, former Tour winners Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck, as well as the two other Brits in the peloton, Geraint Thomas and Simon Yates.

A band at the stately country home in Yorkshire played the national anthems of France and Britain while the famous Red Arrows, the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, flew overhead through blue skies amidst a bright sunny background.

Thousands of people lined the roads to cheer on Froome, his fellow Brits and the rest of the peloton.

Froome and Cavendish, who is hotly tipped to win the opening stage in Harrogate, the town where his mother was born, led the peloton through the streets of Leeds on parade between the fictitious start and the opening ceremony at Harewood House.

The actual race start took place 3km further along the road, after which there was an immediate attack.

German Jens Voigt, the oldest rider in the race at 42 and who was competing in his record-equalling 17th Tour, was joined by Frenchmen Benoit Jarrier and Nicolas Edet in attacking.

Organisers were expecting around two million people to line the streets in Yorkshire along the opening stage route.

Read more on:    tdf  |  prince william  |  cycling


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk



What do you enjoy most about the Tour de France?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


30 of the world's greatest golfers will be heading to the Gary Player Country Club for this year's Nedbank Golf Challenge - now in its 35th year. For all the latest news, player profiles, hole-by-hole descriptions and past winners, be sure to check out Sport24's dedicated section.

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.