YORKSHIRE is to host the Tour de France’s Grand Depart which could see the world’s greatest cyclists past through Hawes and Settle next year.

Responding to this morning’s announcement, Julian Smith, Member of Parliament for Skipton and Ripon, said: “I am delighted by the news that Yorkshire will be host to the Tour de France’s Grand Depart in 2014.

“This will be a fantastic opportunity to showcase Yorkshire to the world, bringing yet another world class sporting event to the UK.

“With a global audience of over two billion people watching the Tour de France every year, the backdrop is vital. In Yorkshire you could not ask for more. Some of the most iconic roads and scenery in the country, if not the world are here.

“Yorkshire and the UK has beaten many eminent world cities and countries and I am sure everyone in the region will now start preparing to ensure the event is a brilliant success. I look forward to celebrating the success and discussing how the country can get behind the bid in my Parliamentary debate on the subject next week.”

A map has been outlined that will take the race to Hawes and Settle in the Upper Dales for a possible stage of the race in 2016 It is estimated the event would boost the county’s economy by up to £300 million.