Tour de France route to be announced

Chris Froome will discover on Wednesday the route he will face when he attempts to defend his Tour de France title.

The race starts in Leeds on 5 July and Froome, 28, will be concerned if a cobbled section used in the one-day Paris-Roubaix race is included.

The Team Sky rider has spoken of his fears of crashes and mechanical problems on the surface.

“It’s the unknown factor that worries me about cobbles,” he told Cycling News about the route for the 2014 edition.

Tour de France 2014 route graphic

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Tour de France 2014 route in the UK

Kenya-born Froome followed first British winner Sir Bradley Wiggins, the 2012 champion, with a peerless climbing performance and three stage wins to claim the yellow jersey this year.

The route of the 101st edition of the Tour will be unveiled at the Palais des Congres in Paris, with Leeds already confirmed as the venue for the opening stage.

It will be the fourth time the race has visited the UK and the first time since 2007, when a Westminster prologue was followed by a stage through Kent. Previous visits came in 1974 and 1994.

The opening stage to Harrogate is expected to end in a sprint, giving Mark Cavendish – who has 25 stage wins in the Tour – the chance to take the race leader’s yellow jersey in his mother’s hometown.

The second, hilly stage is from York to Sheffield and could open up gaps in the general classification standings, before another stage expected to end in a sprint, from Cambridge to The Mall in central London.

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