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Tour de France Begins Saturday

July 3, 2014; 12:11 PM ET

Several major international sporting events are ongoing, and another is set to begin this weekend as the Tour de France gets underway in England.

The first stage will start in Leeds before ending 190.5 km (118.4 mi) later in Harrogate.

As always, weather will be an important factor in the racing, with a general west wind throughout the stage along with a couple of showers.

The west wind will force the competitors to deal with head, cross and tail winds varying from 10-20 kph (6-12 mph) with higher gusts.

Spain's Alberto Contador rides with his teammates during a training ahead of the Tour de France cycling race in Leeds, Britain, Thursday, July 3, 2014. The Tour de France will start on Saturday, July 5, in Leeds, and finishes in Paris on Sunday, July 27. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

There will be a mixture of clouds and sunshine throughout the stage with a couple of showers. No heavy rainfall is expected, but roadways could be wet at points throughout the stage.

The second stage will follow on Sunday with little change in the overall weather pattern. There can again be a brief shower or two throughout the event as riders travel from York to Sheffield. Winds will be from the south to southwest at 8-16 mph creating a head or cross wind for much of the stage.

The final stage in England unfold on Monday taking competitors from Cambridge to London.

Once again there will be a threat for showers, especially late in the stage. The day will also feature moderate westerly winds throughout.

The Tour de France will shift back to France on Tuesday.

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International Weather
The International Weather Blog, written by Eric Leister, covers weather stories from around the world, with a focus on threatening weather events, and also interesting weather phenomenon.