Route of British stages of next year's Tour to be unveiled as Surrey reveals that it too has been in talks...

Welcome to Yorkshire is hosting a party outside Leeds Town Hall from 6pm next Thursday 17 January to showcase its plans for the Grand Depart of the 2014 Tour de France. The event, called La Nuit du Tour, will see the unveiling of the route of the opening stages of next year's race, with other entertainment laid on.

Liège, host of last year's Grand Départ, put on a similar event ahead of its staging of cycling's biggest race, complete with a performance by soprano Francoise Viatour.

Tourism bosses from Yorkshire tempted to follow suit by engaging the services of Doncaster's Lesley Garrett for the evening may want to reflect on the rather pained expression on Bradley Wiggins' face last July as the singer gave a shall we say unique rendition of God Save The Queen as the newly crowned Tour de France champion stood on the Champs Élysées podium.

The opening two stages of the race will take place within Yorkshire, with the third finishing in London. It's not known for now where it will start - the smart money is on Cambridge - but it has been revealed that Surrey County Council, whose roads featured in the Olympic road races and time trials last year, has been in discussions to host the race, too.

That would seem unlikely, not least because any route that took in Surrey would mean a long transfer down from Yorkshire ahead of a stage that will see the Tour de France circus head back to France in the evening.

However, the county's cycling fans won't have to wait until next year to see the world's top cyclists in action there again, with the inaugural edition of the RideLondon Classic taking place on Sunday 4 August.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.