THE Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry will send off teams starting the Tour de France in Yorkshire next month.

Sports fans William, Kate and Harry will be at the Grand Depart to see off the 22 cycling squads as they get the first leg of their gruelling 2,272-mile (3,656km) trip under way.

The opening stage will see riders race against the stunning backdrop of the Yorkshire Dales as they make their way from Leeds to Harrogate on July 5.

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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 Royal Family's younger generation already showed a passion for cycling during the London 2012 Olympics, where they watched Team GB strike gold on the velodrome track.

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.

It will be the first time the Tour de France has come to Britain since 2007, when there was a prologue in London followed by stage one down to Canterbury.

Team Sky rider Chris Froome will be defending his champion's yellow jersey after becoming the second ever Briton to win the race last year.

The 29-year-old was also the second Briton in a row to achieve endurance cycling's most prestigious title after team-mate Bradley Wiggins won in 2012.