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Climbs of Stage One, Tour de France 2014

There are just three categorised climbs on Stage One of the Tour de France 2014. These are 'Côte de Cray' (from Buckden via Cray to Kidstones pass), 'Côte de Buttertubs' (from Hawes via Simonstone to Butter Tubs pass), and 'Côte de Grinton Moor' (from Grinton onto Grinton Moor and the firing range on Bellerby Moor).

This video shows the three climbs on Stage One:

Climbs of Stage One, Tour de France 2014: Côte de Cray (Kidstones Pass)

White Lion, Cray

The Côte de Cray climb is Category 4. 

The race goes through Buckden, then passes Rakes Wood (259m), where it starts to ascend. It reaches the hamlet of Cray, which is dominated by the White Lion Inn. (The Inn has an open fire, real ales, pub food, and nine rooms. It is 700 years old, and was originally a drovers' hostelry).

Kidstones, lower slopes   Cray Gill, near Cray, Kidstones Pass

From Cray onwards, there are several waterfalls either side of the road. Buckden Pike is up to the right. The road crosses Cray Gill on a little bridge, then the steepest part of the climb is at the next bend, by Cow Pasture.

Bridge over Cray Gill, Kidstones ascent   Cow Pasture bend, Kidstones climb

The road reaches 419m where a track to Stalling Busk turns off. It's then undulating for the next 200m or so to the highest point, 424m, by some trees near Kidstones Scar.

Track to Stalling Busk   Trees near Kidstones Scar

The Côte de Cray climb is about 3km, and the height gain from bottom to top is 165m. This means an average gradient of about 5.5%.

The publicity caravan should reach the top of the climb at 11.43, and the riders will be there between 1.33 and 1.43pm. (See the full race schedule for Stage 1). During the Tour, there'll be a pop-up campsite after Cray, near the top of the climb - Kidstones camping.

This video shows the Côte de Cray climb:

This map shows the Côte de Cray climb:

Map of the Cote de Cray climb from Buckden via Cray to Kidstones Pass

Climbs of Stage One, Tour de France 2014: Côte de Buttertubs (Butter Tubs Pass)

Cyclists on Buttertubs Pass

The Côte de Buttertubs climb is Category 3. 

The race goes through Hawes, then crosses the river Ure (the foot of the climb, at an altitude of about 230m). From the river, it ascends towards Simonstone and High Shaw, near Hardraw Force. 

river Ure, Hawes  Cyclists on Brunt Acres Road, Hawes

Simonstone has the C18th Simonstone Hall Country House Hotel. At High Shaw, there's a permanent camping and caravan site, Shaw Ghyll caravan and camping

Simonstone Hall Hotel, Simonstone   Butter Tubs lower slopes

Hardraw Force is England's highest single drop waterfall (100ft), and is likely to feature on the television coverage of the Tour, as the Butter Tubs climb passes very close to it. It's within the private grounds of the Green Dragon Inn, Hardraw, and there's an entry charge to see it. It was a location in the film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, in a scene in which Maid Marian sees Robin bathing under a waterfall.

Green Dragon, Hardraw   Hardraw Force

After High Shaw, the road kicks up more steeply, then the gradient eases over the next 3km to the summit (526m). 

Butter Tubs pass   Near the summit of Butter Tubs

Here, Lovely Seat (675m) is up to the right, and Great Shunner Fell (716m) is up to the left. 

Butter Tubs summit   Great Shunner Fell from Butter Tubs pass

Just beyond the summit, near a spot height of 478m on the Ordnance Survey map, are the Butter Tubs. They are 20m deep limestone potholes. It is said that in the days when farmers took this route to market, they would rest here, and during hot weather, would lower the butter they had produced into the potholes to keep it cool.

Descent of Butter Tubs   The Butter Tub potholes

The Côte de Buttertubs climb is about 5.5km, and the height gain from bottom to top is 296m. This means an average gradient of about 5.4%.

The publicity caravan should reach the top of the climb at 12.36, and the riders between 2.22 and 2.36pm. 

This video shows the Côte de Buttertubs climb:

This map shows the Côte de Buttertubs climb:

Map of Tour de France Butter Tubs climb

This video shows professional cyclist Jamie Sharp climbing and descending Buttertubs Pass:

Climbs of Stage One, Tour de France 2014: Côte de Grinton Moor (Grinton Moor climb)

Climb out of Grinton onto Grinton Moor

The Côte de Grinton Moor climb is Category 3.

The race goes through Reeth, then across the river Swale to Grinton. (Grinton has a chuch dedicated to St Andrew, which was for years the main chuch for upper Swaledale. Bodies were carried there for burial, along the footpath from Keld - a path known as the Corpse Way). 

Bridge Inn, Grinton   St Andrew's church, Grinton

From Grinton, it takes a minor road, Whipperdale Bank, steeply up towards Grinton Lodge (a Youth Hostel), and after crossing Cogden Gill, steeply up onto Cogden Moor, with Grinton Moor up to the right, and Ellerton Moor to the left. This used to be lead mining country, and there was a lead smelt mill above Grinton, as described in the York Press. (There's also a more detailed history of lead mining and farming in Grinton Parish). 

Grinton Lodge Youth Hostel   Bridge over Cogden Gill

The summit is by Robin Cross Hill. After the top of the climb, the road passes Stainton Moor, Preston Moor, and Bellerby Moor. There is an army rifle range near the summit (Bellerby Ranges).

Cyclist on Côte de Grinton Moor   Summit of the Grinton Moor climb

The Côte de Grinton Moor climb is over about 4.4km. It begins at an altitude of around 180m, and reaches 420m at the top (near East End Vein, and Robin Cross Hill). The difference in height is 240m, so the average gradient is about 5.5%.

The Stage 1 timings show that the publicity caravan should reach the top of the climb 1.15pm, and the riders between 2.57 and 3.15pm.

This video shows the Côte de Grinton Moor climb:

This map shows the Côte de Grinton Moor climb:

Map of the Tour de France Grinton Moor climb