AN auction of cycling and sporting memorabilia is to be staged on the eve of the Tour de France's grand depart, which takes in the Yorkshire Dales.

Tennants Auctioneers have announced that the auction will take place at its Wensleydale showroom in Leyburn on Wednesday, July 2.

The world's largest annual cycling event will set off from Leeds on July 5 at 10am, with the bikes following on up to two hours later.

They will reach North Yorkshire at 10.46am, travelling through the most spectacular scenery in Wensleydale and Swaledale less than an hour later. Roads across the region are being closed for at least eight hours.

The areas with the steepest climbs will offer some of the best possibilities of watching the bikes for the longest period of time, so the Buttertubs Pass, between Hawes and Muker, and Grinton Moor, near Leyburn, are expected to be favourite viewing spots.

Tennants will also stage a specialist Militaria and Ethnographica auction on September 17 to commemorate the start of the First World War.