sport

Tour de force for Yorkshire

The Tour de France organisers have been so enthused by Yorkshire that a three-day race may be held in northern England after the Grand Depart.

Leeds will host the 2014 start of the Tour on July 5 with an opening stage to Harrogate before a second stage from York to Sheffield a day later.

The diverse landscape and scenery of Yorkshire captured the imagination of Tour organisers Amaury Sports Organisation and Tour director Christian Prudhomme.

Now there could be a lasting racing legacy from the Tour visiting Yorkshire, according to the man who brought cycling's most fabled race to the county.

Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity told the Guardian: "We will look to spread the event around Yorkshire so that places that haven't received the Tour this year will get the benefit.

"It will be the same UCI ranking as the Criterium International (race, which is held in Corsica), and with ASO involved the quality of the riders and teams will be of the highest standard."