Cycling: Tour route set to be revealed for county’s Grand Depart

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Sheffield will have its moment in the spotlight today when the 2014 Tour de France confirmed route is unveiled at the Palais des Congres in Paris.

The city is to be the host of the finish for the second stage on Sunday July 6, which will start in York and end close to the Motorpoint Arena.

The 101st edition of cycling’s most prestigious race will begin a day before it arrives in Sheffield with a stage from Leeds to Harrogate.

It will be the fourth time the race has visited the UK and first since 2007, when a Westminster prologue was followed by a stage through Kent.

Previous visits were in 1974 and 1994.

The opening stage to Harrogate is expected to end in a sprint, giving Mark Cavendish, 25 times a Tour stage winner, the chance to take the race leader’s yellow jersey in his mother’s home town.

The second, hilly stage into Sheffield could shake up the general classification standings, before another stage which is expected to end in a sprint, the third stage from Cambridge to The Mall in central London.

It will be intriguing if Tour organisers Amaury Sports Organisation decide to repeat the night finish on the Champs-Elysees for the final stage, on July 27, after using floodlights on the famous boulevard for the first time last summer to mark the conclusion of the 100th edition of the race.

The winner of the yellow jersey will be determined by the time of the concluding stage in Paris by results over the Alps and Pyrenees and in the time-trials.

Last year’s winner, Great Britain’s Chris Froome, is likely to start as favourite over the 21 days of racing.

Meanwhile Barnsley’s Ed Clancy is one of seven Olympic champions who will line-up for Great Britain at next week’s Track World Cup in Manchester.

British Cycling has confirmed Jason Kenny, Phil Hindes, Steven Burke, Ed Clancy, Dani King, Joanna Rowsell and Laura Trott - plus two-time world champion Becky James - in the squad for the November 1 to 3 event.