Tour de France race director Christian Prudhomme enthused by the passionate fans and tough racing

The Tour de France may not being going to Portsmouth in 2019, but it could soon return to Yorkshire according to Tour de France general director Christian Prudhomme.

Speaking at the route announcement of the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire, Prudhomme would not be drawn on a date of a possible return, but said that he would love to bring the Tour de France back to Yorkshire in the future.

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“I don’t know when the Tour de France will be back in Yorkshire, but we will be back. It is not a question of if, it is a question of when.

“The Yorkshire roads are perfect for creating a cycling race. You have very, very steep climbs, and an outstanding backdrop with the coastline around Scarborough and Bridlington, and the hills of the Moors and the Dales.

“But there is also so much passion for cycling here, and it’s growing. If we take all the races in the world, the Tour de Yorkshire would be on the podium for the passion of the people.”

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Yorkshire played host to the opening two stages of the 2014 Tour de France, with stages from Leeds to Harrogate and York to Sheffield, before the race travelled south for a final UK stage between Cambridge and London.

The three British stages saw huge crowds with more people than 2.5 million people on the roadsides, and bigger turn-outs on flat and largely inconsequential parts of the route than are often seen on the Alpine and Pyrenean climbs that usually decide the yellow.