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2014 Tour de France to start in England after cycling's success

Photo: STEPHANE MAHE/Reuters

The 2014 Tour de France will start in England, after Bradley Wiggins kicked off a cycling craze by winning the 2012 Tour de France and Olympic gold.

PARIS (AP) -- Drawn by cycling's runaway success in Britain, the Tour de France will cross the English Channel again in 2014 to start in the northeastern English city of Leeds and swing through London before returning to mainland Europe.

Tour organizers announced Friday the second British debut in a decade for cycling's showpiece event, after the "Grand Depart" in London in 2007.

The selection of the county of Yorkshire for the 2014 start also comes after Bradley Wiggins this year became the first Briton to win the Tour in its 109-year history.

Tour organizers said preliminary details of the course route for the 2014 race will be presented at a news conference on Jan. 17.

British cycling has been on a high in recent months, with strong showings for the national team on the track at the London Olympics and huge fan turnout along the roads for the time-trial and road race events.

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