Page last updated at 11:00 GMT, Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Debate on the Tour de France

A cross party group of MPs has hailed the decision to award Yorkshire the right to host the start of the 2014 Tour de France.

Opening a Westminster Hall debate on 18 December 2012, the Conservative MP for Skipton and Ripon, Julian Smith described the "monumental achievement", pointing to the benefits in the region's tourism and leisure industry.

He described the event as "the biggest shop window there is" to promote Yorkshire as a place to visit or invest in.

The Tour will open in Leeds before heading through Yorkshire on 5 and 6 July 2014. The race will head to London after visiting the north, and Liberal Democrat MP for Leeds North West, Greg Mulholland, said the Mayor of London Boris Johnson should be "thankful" to Yorkshire for winning the bid.

The race last visited the UK in 2007, when London hosted a prologue ahead of a road stage from the capital to Canterbury, attracting two million spectators.

Yorkshire beat off the challenge of bids from Florence and Edinburgh to host the prestigious event.

The Tour de France, which started in 1903, is the world's biggest road cycling competition, and was won in 2012 by Bradley Wiggins, becoming the first Briton to win the race.

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