Published On: Sun, Jul 6th, 2014 on 1:56 pm

Tour de France gets the royal send-off in Yorkshire

Tour De France Duchess Of Cambridge

Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton. Image courtesy: Welcome to Yorkshire

An estimated one million people gathered in Yorkshire yesterday as this year’s Tour de France was given a royal send-off in Leeds.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry cut the ribbon as crowds lined the Tour route to see cyclists ride off for the Grand Depart.

Leader of Leeds City Council, Cllr Keith Wakefield, said: “I have seen back some of the television footage and it looks spectacular, showcasing Leeds and Yorkshire to a massive global audience which we know will bring about major benefits in the short and longer term as people all over the world now know our city and region is a place they must come and visit and do business with.

“I’m sure it will also inspire people of all ages and especially young people to get on bikes and emulate the Tour de France heroes they have just seen come past.”

Today, riders will go from York to Sheffield via Keighley and Huddersfield, and the third stage will run tomorrow from Cambridge to The Mall in London.

Team Sky’s Chris Froome is the defending champion, who became the second British winner of the race last year, following the victory of teammate Sir Bradley Wiggins in 2012.

They are among British riders Tom Simpson, Chris Boardman, Sean Yates, and David Millar, who have worn the yellow jersey.

The opening three stages of the event is expected to bring in more than £100 million to the economy whilst also being watched by millions across the globe.

Numerous roads have been closed across Yorkshire, disrupting travel, but Northern Rail is putting on 50% more trains to help travellers get to their destinations.

Thousands are already watching the event live via spectator hubs scattered across the county.

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