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Balanced route for sprinters, climbers and opportunists

The Tour de France starts with two stages in Yorkshire next year, before hopping south to Cambridge to start stage three’s run into London.

In this video from the Ordnance Survey, Phil ‘the Voice of Cycling’ Ligget talks us through the route, the challenges the riders will face and the types of riders likely to win.

Stage one from Leeds to Harrogate via the Dales will be one for the sprinters, according to Liggett, while the hills of the second stage from York to Sheffield will favour climbers.

The dash into London will be one for the opportunists, with the chance of a breakaway, though it’s hard to see Mark Cavendish’s team allowing that when their man will want to to win in front of Buckingham Palace.

Tour director Christian Prudhomme says it will be the second hardest grand depart in the history of the Tour.

Take a look at the video and see if you agree with Prudomme and Liggett's thoughts:

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.