More than 10,000 people turn out at the arena of Yorkshire's biggest city to receive Movistar Team and all squads to start the Grande Boucle in less than 48 hours' time
GALLERY | Pictures of 2014 Tour’s Grand Départ
With a short, packed urban parade on the streets of Leeds, the 22 squads that will take the start of the 101st Tour de France took the curtain up for a Grand Départ whose real beginning will happen on Saturday, as the peloton rolls towards Harrogate on stage one of the world’s biggest cycle event.
The nine Movistar Team riders, captained by Alejandro Valverde and showcasing their O2 logos for the very first time in this year, as well as Ion Izagirre’s new Spanish champion jersey, enjoyed the exciting atmosphere -warm, despite the low temperatures- in Britain’s second start for the French grandtour, only seven years after London’s successful prologue in 2007.
Once their short, second training ride on English soil is completed tomorrow morning, the telephone squad will only lack one appointment before the racing starts: a press conference -with Valverde and Unzué as protagonists, plus Gadret, Intxausti and Visconti- held in the O2 Leeds office on Friday evening.