YORKSHIRE will host the start of the 2014 Tour de France.
Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, the agency behind the county’s bid for the Grand Depart stage of the cycling race, said: "Today is a proud day for everyone involved in the bid and the county as a whole.
"It will mean, less than two years after hosting the Olympics, the British public can look forward to another of the world’s biggest sporting events coming to the country.
"I am in no doubt they will come to Yorkshire in their millions, lining the length and breadth of the route to cheer on the champions of world cycling and our home-grown British heroes."
More than a million people flocked to the streets of London for the opening prologue when the Grand Depart was last staged in Britain in 2007.
Tour organisers Amaury Sports Organisation selected Yorkshire ahead of a separate British-wide bid with an Edinburgh start, but that remains in the running for a future date.
Yorkshire will host the first two days’ racing on July 5 and 6 before the Tour moves south for a third stage in southern England, with a finish in London.
As the host city of the Grand Depart, Leeds will host a cycling and arts festival to coincide with the arrival of the Tour.
Next year’s Tour begins in Corsica on June 29 2013.
British cycling is now a world beating force - both on the road and on the track.
Bradley Wiggins this year became the first British rider to win the Tour and followed it up by winning gold at the London 2012 Olympics.
The Yorkshire bid boasted support from former world champion and Tour de France sprint star Mark Cavendish, two-time Olympic champion Ed Clancy, Team Sky’s Ben Swift plus Brian Robinson - the first Briton to win a stage of the Tour de France in 1958.
Barry Hoban - winner of eight stages of Le Tour - and Malcolm Elliott the first British rider to win a points jersey in a Grand Tour were among over 170,000 supporters who pledged to back the bid.
A statement from Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), the tour organisers, noted: "After an outstanding 2012 for British cycling, marked by the historical victory of Bradley Wiggins on the Tour de France, the United Kingdom will again hold pride of place in 2014."
Describing the 2007 Grand Depart as "an unforgettable memory," Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme, said: "Bradley Wiggins’ historic victory last July, the immense enthusiasm in the streets of London during the cycling events at the Olympic Games and the excellent relations we enjoy with our contacts in London are all determining factors that encouraged us to return, seven years later, to the British capital.
"There is no doubt that it will once again be a major event enthusiastically welcomed by Londoners."
British Cycling's president Brian Cookson said: ``Like every other cycling fan, I am thrilled the world's biggest bike race is coming back to this country.
"The huge numbers who turned out to support the 2007 Grand Depart and the London 2012 road races show the passion we have for cycling.
"I’m sure Yorkshire will give the 2014 Tour de France a welcome which will stand out in the race’s rich history."
VisitEngland's chief executive James Berresford said: ``Congratulations to Yorkshire on winning the bid. This is a fantastic opportunity for Yorkshire and will showcase to the world the outstanding beauty and breathtaking landscapes of this wonderful area of England.''
He went on: "We’ve shown this year that England can host the most prestigious sporting events in the world with warmth and panache. In 2014 we have another opportunity with the Tour de France and again in 2015 with the Rugby World Cup.
"Sport runs through the very fabric of this country and is an incredibly powerful tool to encourage visitors both from at home and overseas to take a holiday in England."