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Climbs of Stage Two, Tour de France 2014

There are nine categorised climbs on Stage Two of the Tour de France 2014. These are (in the order they are tackled on the stage) Côte de Blubberhouses (Cat. 4), Côte d' Oxenhope Moor (Cat. 3), Côte de Ripponden (Cat. 3), Côte de Greetland (Cat. 3), Côte de Holme Moss (Cat. 2), Côte de Midhopestones (Cat. 3), Côte de Bradfield (Cat. 4), Côte d' Oughtibridge (Cat. 3), and Côte de Jenkin Road (Cat.4). Cragg Vale isn't a categorised climb, but it's long, if not especially steep.

This video shows the first four climbs on Stage Two:

This video shows the last five climbs on Stage Two:

Climbs of Stage Two, Tour de France 2014: Côte de Blubberhouses (Kex Gill)

Cote de Blubberhouses climb (Kexgill)

The Côte de Blubberhouses climb is Category 4. 

About 13km west of Harrogate, the A59 passes the tiny hamlet of Blubberhouses, at the end of Fewston Reservoir. From Blubberhouses, the road climbs a striking gully, known as Kex Gill, with Kex Gill Moor to the right (north) of the road, and Blubberhouses Moor to the left. Kex Gill Moor provides a good vantage point. The road climbs until a little after Blubberhouses Quarry, just short of Kex Gill Farm. The top of the climb is where the 300m contour line crosses the A59 on the Ordnance Survey map.

St Andrew's church, Blubberhouses   Blubberhouses Moor

The Côte de Blubberhouses climb is about 3.6km from Blubberhouses to the top. (Immediately after Blubberhouses, the incline is only gentle, and some people may regard the climb as starting a little further on). The altitude at Blubberhouses is 160m, and the top of the climb is 300m, so the difference in height is 140m. This gives an average gradient of about 3.9%.

The publicity caravan should reach the top of the climb at 10.36, and the riders will be there between 12.29 and 12.36. (See the full race schedule for Stage 2).

This map shows the Côte de Blubberhouses climb:

Map of Cote de Blubberhouses (Kex Gill) Tour de France 2014 climb

This video, produced by York City Council, shows professional cyclist Jamie Sharp riding up the Blubberhouses climb, with commentary by Jonathan Cowap:

Climbs of Stage Two, Tour de France 2014: Côte d' Oxenhope Moor (Oxenhope Moor climb)

Top of Cote d' Oxenhope Moor Tour de France climb

The Côte d' Oxenhope Moor climb is Category 3. 

The race route climbs away from Lower Laithe reservoir, then descends into Oxenhope. There, the riders will turn right on the A6033 towards Hebden Bridge, and the Côte d' Oxenhope Moor climb begins. The first part is through Oxenhope's Upper Town, then the road reaches open moorland. It passes the Wagon & Horses Inn on the left, at Dike Nook. The gradient begins to ease a few hundred metres before the summit of the climb, Cock Hill (432m) (shown here on the Ordnance Survey map).  

Oxenhope Fisheries   St Mary's church, Oxenhope

The Côte d' Oxenhope Moor climb is about 2.9km long. The height at the bottom is around 235m, and the top is at 432m, so the height gain is 197m. This means an average gradient of about 6.8%.

The publicity caravan should reach the top of the climb at 11.37, and the riders between 1.24 and 1.37pm. 

This map shows the Côte d' Oxenhope Moor climb:

Cote d' Oxenhope Moor Tour de France climb map

Climbs of Stage Two, Tour de France 2014: Côte de Ripponden (Ripponden Bank climb)

Cote de Ripponden Tour de France climb

The Côte de Ripponden climb is Category 3.Ripponden Parish church

The race makes a sweeping descent from Blackstone Edge reservoir, past Rishworth Moor, Baitings reservoir, and Ryburn reservoir, to Ripponden (shown on the Ordnance Survey map). In Ripponden, the riders make a right turn onto the B6113, across the river Ryburn, and past Ripponden Parish church (St Bartholomew's). This is where the Côte de Ripponden climb (Ripponden Bank) begins.

The climb up Ripponden Bank is steep for the first 500m up to a 90 degree bend to the left, where there's a milestone. The road then continues to ascend, but diagonally across the slope now. 

St Bartholomew's church, Ripponden   Milepost on Ripponden Bank

There's a pub on the left hand side, The Fleece Countryside Inn. (The Fleece in Barkisland is organising a special Tour de France day on Sunday 6th July 2014, with grandstand seating, outdoor food and drink stalls, entertainment, and a big screen to watch the race before and after it passes the pub. They are, however, charging up to £45 for a package which includes breakfast and grandstand seating. There's no parking at the Fleece, but parking will be available at the nearby Barkisland Parking Field, off Scammonden Road, near the top of the climb). 

Cyclists on Ripponden Bank   Fleece Inn, Ripponden Bank

The gradient eases towards the summit, which is between the right fork for Barkisland (Stainland Rd) and the junction with Scammonden Rd.

The Côte de Ripponden climb is over about 1.6km. It begins at an altitude of around 125m, and reaches 251m at the top. The difference in height is therefore 126m, and the average gradient is about 7.9%.

The Stage 2 timings show that the publicity caravan should reach the top of the climb 12.22pm, and the riders between 2.04 and 2.22pm.

This map shows the Côte de Ripponden climb:

Cote de Ripponden (Ripponden Bank) Tour de France map

Climbs of Stage Two, Tour de France 2014: Côte de Greetland

Blackley Cricket Club, top of Cote de Greetland

The Côte de Greetland climb is Category 3. 

After Greetland, the riders take a sharp right turn in West Vale, onto the B6112 Stainland Rd towards Holywell Green. The Côte de Greetland climb starts with a left turn up Queen Street. The Tour de France is now on residential streets between Greetland and Elland. The route goes right on Green Lane, then soon after, left up Hullenedge Lane (the steepest part of the climb). 

Queen Street, Côte de Greetland Tour de France climb   Hullenedge Lane, Côte de Greetland Tour de France climb

At a junction near St Patrick's Catholic Primary school, it turns right on Hammerstones Road, with Elland Cricket Club to the left and Elland Golf Club to the right (but behind a row of houses on either side). There is a bit of respite on Hammerstones Road, which is almost flat, then the climb continues on Blackley Road, which ramps up again. 

Côte de Greetland Tour de France climb   Baptist chapel, near top of Côte de Greetland Tour de France climb

You could regard the climb as finishing after a sharp left hand bend in Blackley Road, near Blackley Baptist church. However, after a flat section past a disused pit on the left, then Blackley Cricket Club on the right, there's another short pull up to the motorway junction at Ainley Top, on what is now Lindley Road. 

Blackley Cricket Club   Ainley Top junction

The streets of the Côte de Greetland climb are shown on this Ordnance Survey map.

The Côte de Greetland climb (going as far as Ainley Top motorway junction) is over about 2.5km. It begins at an altitude of about 85m, and reaches 225m at the summit. The difference in height is 140m, and the average gradient is about 5.6%.

The publicity caravan should reach the top of the Côte de Greetland climb at 12.34, and the riders between 2.15 and 2.34pm.

This map shows the Côte de Greetland climb:

Map of Cote de Greetland Tour de France climb

Climbs of Stage Two, Tour de France 2014: Côte de Holme Moss

Holme Moss

The Côte de Holme Moss climb is Category 2.

The Fleece, Holme   Bridge over Rake Dike, Holme Moss

From Huddersfield, the riders follow the river Holme past Honley to Holmfirth, then Holmbridge, and Holme. Shortly after Holme, the road (A6024) crosses Rake Dike (the source of the river Holme), and the climb of Holme Moss begins. There's pasture at the foot of Holme Moss, and open moorland higher up. The road has a couple of hairpins, almost resembling an Alpine climb in that respect. Holme Moss transmitter

Holme Moss

The summit is clearly identifiable by its transmitter - Holme Moss transmitter is the highest in the United Kingdom. There has been a trasmitter there since 1951, but the current one dates from 1984. It is now used for VHF and DAB radio broadcasts.

Holme Moss is also used for various sporting activities, including sledging, when there's a covering of snow, and the Holme Moss Fell Race, organised by the Holmfirth Harriers. It has been included on professional bike races, including the Tour of Britain and the Leeds Classic.

Holme Moss is shown on this Ordnance Survey map

Summit of Holme Moss   View from Holme Moss

Côte de Holme Moss: distance, height gained, and average gradient

The Côte de Holme Moss climb is over 2.33 km. It begins at an altitude of 314m, where the road crosses Rake Dike, and it reaches 524m at the top, just beyond the car park and transmitter station. The height gained is 210m, and the average gradient 9.0%.

Côte de Holme Moss: timings

According to the Stage 2 timings, the publicity caravan should reach the top of Holme Moss at 1.12pm, and the riders between 2.49 and 3.12pm. 

Côte de Holme Moss: practical information for watching the Tour at Holme Moss

Holme Moss may be the most popular place to watch the Tour in the UK. Kirklees Council has published practical information for spectators on Holme Moss. They say they are expecting 'thousands of people', and ask them to plan their trip carefully. 'If you're travelling from outside the area, we suggest that you plan to arrive by Saturday at the lastest, and walk or cycle to your chosen spot on Sunday. Once you've found your viewing spot, settle down and wait for the spectacle to start.' 

Holme Moss will be closed to traffic (except emergency vehicles) from a few days before the race. The rest of the race route will be closed from very early on Sunday morning. It seems that other roads around Holme Moss will be closed by 8am on Sunday 6th July 2014.

The main parking will be on the A635 Greenfield Road, behind the Ford Inn. It'll have 10,000 spaces. It's shown on a Holme Moss TDF map produced by Kirklees Council, and it seems that it is at, or includes, Harden Hill Farm. From the parking, spectators will walk along the minor road past Digley Reservoir to Holme, near the bottom of the climb; then presumably as far up the climb as they want. Kirklees say you should wear sturdy shoes, and be prepared to walk at least 5km.

Kirklees has a list of further car parks, mostly in and around Holmfirth, which are slightly further from Holme Moss.

People are not allowed to camp on Holme Moss, or park a motorhome or campervan on the roadside or verges. However, there are a number of campsites on or close to Holme Moss.

Côte de Holme Moss: map

This map shows the Côte de Holme Moss climb:

Cote de Holme Moss Tour de France map

Côte de Holme Moss: video

This video of the Holme Moss climb shows Jamie Sharp ascending it, with some (rather banal) tips and advice:

Climbs of Stage Two, Tour de France 2014: Côte de Midhopestones

Ye Olde Mustard Pot, Midhopestones

The Côte de Midhopestones climb is Category 3.

The Tour takes the A616 through Langsett, alongside the Porter (or little river Don), then it turns right off the main road at Midhopestones (before Stocksbridge) and passes Underbank Reservoir on the left. The Côte de Midhopestones climb begins here, near the Mustard Pot pub (pictured above). Midhopestones and the climb south out of the village are shown on the Ordnance Survey map

Midhopestones climb   Top of Midhopestones Tour de France climb

The climb is steep at first, eases by woods near Midhopestones Reservoir, then steepens again to the summit near Ewden Height. (It then descends past Garlic House Farm to Ewden Beck).

Garlic House Farm near Ewden

The Côte de Midhopestones climb is over 2.54km. It begins at an altitude of about 190m, and reaches 348m at the summit. The height gained is 158m, and the average gradient is 6.2%.

The publicity caravan should reach the top of the Côte Midhopestones climb at 1.50pm, and the riders between 3.24 and 3.50pm.

This map shows the Côte de Midhopestones climb:

Cote de Midhopestones Tour de France map

Climbs of Stage 2, Tour de France 2014: Côte de Bradfield

High Bradfield

The Côte de Bradfield climb is Category 4.

There is a climb up from Ewden Beck, before the riders get to Bradfield, but judging by the Stage 2 timings, this must be uncategorised, because the the Côte de Bradfield climb doesn't seem to start until the village of Bradfield. So, the riders come down into High Bradfield, then take a left turn on Kirk Edge Road, and there's a short, sharp climb of Castle Hill, past a wind turbine, onto Onesmoor. The summit is reached just before Kirk Edge Carmelite Monastery. High Bradfield and the climb are shown on the Ordnance Survey map

Old Horns Inn, Bradfield   Bradfield Tour de France climb summit

The Côte de Bradfield climb is over just less than 1km - about 940m. The altitude of the village is 260m, and the top of the climb is at 353m. The height gained is 93m, and the average gradient is 9.9%.

The publicity caravan should reach the top of the Côte de Bradfield at 2.03pm, and the riders between 3.36 and 4.03pm.

This map shows the Côte de Bradfield climb:

Côte de Bradfield Tour de France map

Climbs of Stage 2, Tour de France 2014: Côte d' Oughtibridge (Jawbone Hill climb)

Oughtibridge Tour de France climb

The Côte d' Oughtibridge (or Jawbone Hill) climb is Category 3. 

The riders come down through Oughtibridge on Church Street, crossing the two carriageways of the A6102, to the river Don. They cross the river, and take Station Lane past the Coronation Park spectator hub. The Côte d' Oughtibridge, or Jawbone Hill, climb starts here. 

The route goes over the railway line and continues, now on Oughtibridge Lane, up towards Grenoside. The Ordnance Survey map shows the climb. Although it is known locally as Jawbone Hill, if you zoom in to the 1:25,000 map, it appears to be properly called Whalejaw Hill. A Grenoside local history site suggests that this is because there was at one time a pair of whale's jaw bones over Oughtibridge Lane, forming an archway. They were at a bend in the road near the top of the hill, by the Birley Stone, and may have been there from the early 1800s, perhaps from 1815, put there to celebrate the end of the Napoleonic Wars. 

Oughtibridge Cock Inn   Grenoside sign

The Côte d' Oughtibridge climb is over 2km, starting at the crossing of the river Don, and finishing at the right fork onto Skew Hill Lane in the outskirts of Grenoside, near a triangulation pillar marked 249m. The altitude at the river is 90m, and the summit is 249m. The difference in height is 159m, and the average gradient is 8.0%.

The publicity caravan should reach the top of the Côte d' Oughtibridge (Jawbone climb) at 2.14pm, and the riders between 3.46 and 4.14 pm, according to the Stage 2 timings.

This map shows the Côte d' Oughtibridge (Jawbone Hill) climb:

Cote d' Oughtibridge (Jawbone Hill) Tour de France map

This video shows Team Sky on the Jawbone climb on 31st May 2014, doing their reconnoitre of Stage 2:

Climbs of Stage 2, Tour de France 2014: Côte de Jenkin Road

Jenkin Road Tour de France climb

The Côte de Jenkin Road climb is Category 4. 

Jenkin Road is the final climb, in Sheffield itself, and only a short distance from the finish line. The riders will be cycling north east on Holywell Road, towards Meadowhall, when they'll be required to turn left up Jenkin Road towards Wincobank. It's only a short climb, of a residential back road in Sheffield, but it's steep. The steepest part is where the road bends left, and there are white handrails on the left hand side. Here, the gradient is around 33%. After doing the climb twice on a training ride with his Giant Shimano team, Koen de Kort said it was so steep, he thought about getting off and pushing. 

If there are only a few riders left in a lead group, the Côte de Jenkin road climb could be the battle ground that decides the stage winner.

Jenkin Road sign   Jenkin Road Tour de France climb

Just after the top of the climb, they go right on Newman Road. (After that, a little loop around Meadowhall Shopping Centre will take them to Tinsley, then to the finish on the A6178 Attercliffe Common in Carbrook). 

The Côte de Jenkin Road climb is shown on this Ordnance Survey map

The Jenkin Road climb is over about 830m. It starts at an altitude of 50m, and reaches 145m at the top. The height gained is 95m, and the average gradient is about 11.4%.

The publicity caravan should reach the top of the Côte de Jenkin Road climb at 2.37pm on Sunday 6th July, and the riders between 4.06 and 4.37pm.

This map shows the the Côte de Jenkin Road climb:

Cote de Jenkin Road Tour de France map

The Jenkin Road climb is just off to the side of the Wincobank Hill Fort, which is thought to have been built by the Celtic Brigantes tribe around 500BC.