THE Tour de France's Yorkshire start has been the "grandest" opening in its history, according to the race director, who said five million may have watched the race over the weekend.

Christian Prudhomme said the huge crowds seen for the second day along the route, many only inches from the riders, were "unbelievable, incredible, amazing, astonishing."

Yesterday's 201km stage from York to Sheffield saw more scenes of people packing the roadside following Saturday's stage taking in Leeds, Harrogate and the Yorkshire Dales.

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Mr Prudhomme added: "It will stay as the grandest Grand Depart ever."

Picture: Getty