SHEFFIELD will host one of the most important stages of the 2014 Tour de France.
That’s the view of Christian Prudhomme, race director of the Tour de France, who was in the city to discuss the route from York to Sheffield with council officials.
He said that, while his knowledge of the city is limited, the route that has been planned will be on a par with some of the most important races on the international cycling calendar.
Mr Prudhomme said: “I know that Sheffield has the oldest football club in the world and Sebastian Coe.
“And I learned during the Olympics that Jessica Ennis was from Sheffield. This is the first time I have been to Sheffield so I’ll have to come back and find out more.
“The second stage of the Tour in 2014 will be a very important one.
“It is a hilly stage like Liege-Baston-Liege, which is one of the most prestigious races. It will be really tough and it was important in the Yorkshire bid for the Grand Depart.
“Apart from the British riders I don’t think anyone can imagine what it will be like.”
Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire who led the bid to bring the Tour to the region, said: “We’re very excited about the stage coming into Sheffield.
“The ASO technical team believe it will be comparable with the very best ‘classic’ races in the world. The eyes of the world will be on Sheffield on July 6, 2014.”
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