TOUR de France fans snapped up 20,000 tickets for the start of the second day’s action in just four-and-a-half hours.

The free tickets for the York racecourse departure on July 6 became available at 9am this morning, Thursday, and had all gone by early afternoon.

However there will be a review as to whether another allocation of tickets can be made, with an announcement due on March 3.

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Ticketholders at the racecourse will be able to go into the stands to watch the build-up to the race and then the cyclists, with the leading riders being presented to the crowds before they head into York and then start the competitive racing.

Giant screens and hundreds of televisions around the site will allow visitors to follow all the action from the Tour itself as it heads towards the daily finish in Sheffield.

Racecourse spokesman James Brennan urged anyone who had obtained a ticket but later found they would be unable to make it to contact the racecourse, so that their booking could be cancelled and their ticket given to someone else.

And he stressed that there would be many other locations around the city where people would be able to see the riders.