TOUR de France riders will receive a Royal send off for next month's Grand Depart.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry will be at the start line to see off the cyclists for the first stage of the race.

The Royal sports fans have already showed a passion for cycling during the London 2012 Olympics when they watched Team GB strike gold on the velodrome track.

They will watch as the 22 cycling teams get the first leg of their gruelling 2,272-mile race under way on July 5.

The opening stage will see riders race against the stunning backdrop of the Yorkshire Dales as they make their way from Leeds to Harrogate.

The 101st tour will feature two more stages in Britain before heading across the English Channel.

On the second day of the race, the cyclists will ride from York to Sheffield, while on the third they will go from Cambridge to London.

A Kensington Palace spokesman said: "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry will attend the Tour De France Grand Depart in Yorkshire on July 5, 2014."

The announcement of the Royal visitors comes as local authority chiefs urge residents and businesses to make sure they are aware of road closures and parking restrictions for the event.

North Yorkshire county councillor Gareth Dadd, executive member for highways, said: “This is a fantastic event, and the benefits to North Yorkshire will be enormous, both in the immediate term and the longer term through the cycling legacy work and through increased tourism.

"We want to make sure therefore that everything is in place to make it a huge success."

Yellow signs are now appearing along major routes in the area alerting residents to the Grand Depart parking restrictions and road closures.

Organisers say it is essential that the route and the access roads are kept clear during the preparation period and during the race itself.

Residents and businesses must move vehicles from the route from 7pm on Friday, July 4 until the race has gone through and the road has re-opened.

North Yorkshire County Council said the route would still be available for people to walk and cycle along until around an hour before the publicity caravan passes through.

For details on road closures visit

*Send us pictures of the celebrations as the Tour passes through your town or village on July 5 and 6. Text NORTHERN ECHO to 80360, email or tweet us using the hashtag #echotdf