Yorkshire is hosting Le Grand Départ 2014 on July 5 – 6th and inviting the world to cycle through and witness its beautiful Northern countryside and villages.
The world’s greatest cycle race, the Tour de France, is to begin right on our doorstep as it makes its first ever visit to the Northern half of our country, in a matter of weeks.
For cyclists and fans alike, this opportunity is giving Yorkshire and its people a chance to shine in front of the 3 billion, across the globe, who tune into the event every year.
British cyclists, Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins, have done wonders for the popularity of cycling in the last two years, making it a perfect time to show off Yorkshire’s iconic cycling landscapes (and British talent, of course).
The Tour de France is the largest annual sporting event and is over 100 years old, first established in 1903. A free-to-attend event for supporters, the 2200 mile length will be covered by 22 teams of nine riders, all cycling for that coveted winner’s yellow jersey.
Le Grand Départ – In three stages
Stage 1: Leeds to Harrgoate, 190km, Saturday, July 5th
The first stage of the Yorkshire route includes: Leeds, Otley, Ilkley, Skipton, Kettlewell, Kidstones, Hawes, Muker, Reeth, West Tanfield, Masham, Ripon, Harewood, Burley-in-Wharfedale, Addingham, Grassington, Buckden, Aysgarth, Buttertubs Pass, Leyburn, Middleham, East Witton, North Stainley and Harrogate.
Stage 2: York to Sheffield, 200km, Sunday, July 6th
The second and final Yorkshire stage features: York, Addingham, Haworth, Cragg Vale, Huddersfield, Holme Moss, Langsett, Sheffield, Knaresborough, Keighley, Hebden Bridge, Ripponden, Holmfirth, Peak District National Park and High Bradfield
Stage 3: Cambridge to London, 159km, Monday, July 7th
With a huge part of central London covered, there are many opportunities to see the climax of Le Grand Départ (translates to ‘great departure’) across the capital city.
Yorkshire’s Big Moment
Yorkshire is the UK’s biggest county, with around 40m people generally visiting the region for heritage-related tourism. The area is home to seven cities, six national museums, five Michelin star restaurants and three national parks, there’s something for everyone (including York Minster and nine racecourses).
When the decision to include Yorkshire was made in December 2012, Welcome to Yorkshire’s chief executive, Gary Verity, said:
“Today is a proud day for everyone involved in the bid and the county as a whole. We are honoured that the race organisers, the Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), have selected Yorkshire to be the host location of the 2014 Le Grand Départ.
“Yorkshire is a passionate county of proud people and I am sure they will guarantee that their Le Grand Départ raises the bar in terms of expectations for all future hosts to come.”
The popularity of the race means that it regularly starts outside France, with the UK last taking part in 2007, with a time trial stage in central London and a stage of the race including London to Canterbury.
For more information about cycling or to chat about the upcoming Le Grand Départ and Tour de France, tweet us at @UKBikeBus and to find out about Le Grand Départ, visit http://www.letour.yorkshire.com/.