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Tour de France 2014 in the UK: news

You can find the latest news of the three UK stages of the 2014 Tour de France here. 

Interview: Graham Titchener, Cycle Yorkshire

29th August 2014

Graham Titchener, in charge of Yorkshire's Tour legacyWhat is planned for Yorkshire's Tour de France legacy? Can we expect better cycle infrastructure? What are the other aspects of the Tour legacy, such as bike recycling schemes, bike hire schemes, and education? 

Read our interview with Graham Titchener, who works for the City of York, but who is in charge of Yorkshire's Tour de France legacy.

Vinokourov charged with corruption

20th August 2014

Alexander Vinokourov has been charged with corruption following investigations by a prosecutor in Liege. He was charged in May, but it was secret until now, and the charge relates to accusations that he paid the Russian rider Kolobnev to let him win the 2010 Liege-Bastogne-Liege race. Read more about Vinokourov charged with corruption...

Tour de France news: Stage 3 report

7th July 2014

Marcel Kittel

An easier stage from Cambridge to London ended with a sprint on The Mall, which was won by Marcel Kittel of Giant Shimano. Read our stage 3 report...

Tour de France news: Stage 2

6th July 2014

The peloton on Côte de Blubberhouses

A tough stage from York to Sheffield, with nine categorised climbs, saw an elite group fight it out for victory. Vincenzo Nibali won the stage and with it the yellow jersey. Read our stage 2 report, and our report on spectating at Côte de Blubberhouses...

Tour de France news: final preparations in Harrogate

2nd July 2014

TV crew in front of the Cavendish & Horses

Some of the TV crews are in Harrogate, and the Fan Park is being built on the Stray. Read about final preparations for the Tour in Harrogate...

Tour de France news: Simon Yates selected in Orica Greenedge Tour team

1st July 2014

21 year old Simon Yates, from Bury, Greater Manchester, has been selected by his Orica Greenedge team for the 2014 Tour de France. Having broken his collarbone in the Tour of Turkey, he has raced less than his twin brother Adam, and is considered fresh for the Tour. Read more on Simon Yates selected for the Tour de France...

Tour de France news: Get On Yer Bike

1st July 2014

Plumbing

A South Yorkshire plumber has written a Tour de France song, Get On Yer Bike, which refers to bikes as 'push irons' at one point. Paul Ballington and the Sheffield Star have filmed a video of the song. Read about and listen to Get On Yer Bike...

Tour de France news: Millar and Dowsett not selected for the Tour de France

1st July 2014

David Millar and Alex Dowsett have been left out of their teams' Tour de France squads, after suffering illness at the British National championships. As a result, just three Brits will ride the 2014 race. Read more about Millar and Dowsett left out of the Tour... 

Tour de France news: Harrogate's Tour decorations

29th June 2014

Tour de France bunting outside Harrogate Library

With less than a week to go until the Tour de France, Harrogate is getting ready, with Tour de France decorations around the town. See a video and photos of the Tour decorations in Harrogate...

Tour de France news: Royals confirmed at Harewood

28th June 2014

Harewood House

It has been confirmed that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry will attend Harewood House for the official ceremonial start of the Tour de France. They'll be at the Festival of Cycling, accompanied by the Band of the Royal Engineers, with a flypast by the Red Arrows. Read about Royals confirmed at Harewood...

Tour de France news: Team Sky announce their Tour de France squad

27th June 2014

Team Sky have announced their nine-man squad for the 2014 Tour de France. Chris Froome leads the team, supported by Richie Porte, but as expected, Wiggins is not selected. Read about Team Sky's squad for the Tour de France...

Tour de France news: Wiggins wins National time trial, and confirms he won't ride the Tour

27th June 2014

Bradley Wiggins won the time trial at the 2014 British National Road Championships at Celtic Manor yesterday, ahead of Geraint Thomas and Alex Dowsett. Afterwards, he confirmed he won't ride the Tour de France. Read about the time trial at the British Nationals...

Tour de France news: BBC Countryfile on the trail of the Tour de France

24th June 2014

Lower Laithe reservoir, near Oxenhope

The BBC's Countryfile programme, broadcast on 22nd June 2014, was in West Yorkshire. The presenters looked at the artworks of the Fields of Vision project, Yorkshire cyclist Beryl Burton, the Cragg Vale climb, and more. Read about Countryfile on the trail of the Tour de France...

Tour de France news: Yorkshire 3-day legacy race to start in Hull

23rd June 2014

The annual 3-day Yorkshire cycle race, due to begin in May 2015, will be based in Hull. It will take in Hull's old town and the Humber Bridge, before heading west into the East Riding of Yorkshire. There will be three stages of 150-200km, which will be televised. The route will change slightly each year.

Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, told the Hull Daily Mail, 'We were disappointed not to get Hull and other parts of Yorkshire involved in the Tour de France opening stages. That is why we are going to set up this new annual race. This event will be as good for Hull as the Tour de France will be for Yorkshire.'

Tour de France news: bunting removed from lamp posts in Masham

23rd June 2014

Tour de France bunting in Harrogate borough

Mini-Tour de France knitted jerseys, used as Tour de France bunting, have been removed from lamp posts in Masham after North Yorkshire County Council raised safety concerns. Residents have hung the strings of jerseys from homes and businesses instead. Read about Tour de France bunting removed from lamp posts in Masham...

Tour de France news: William, Catherine, and Harry to attend Grand Départ

17th June 2014

William and Catherine, and Harry, from Britain's royal family, will attend the Grand Départ in Yorkshire, Kensington Palace announced yesterday. There is currently no further information about their itinerary in any reports, for example AFP, but it seems likely that they will be at Harewood House, as the Earl of Harewood is a cousin of the Queen. It is possible that they could then go to Harrogate for the finish.

Tour de France news: most popular places to watch the Tour

16th June 2014

Graph showing percentage of spectators at locations on stage 1

Leeds and Harrogate will be the most popular places to watch Stage 1 of the Tour de France 2014.

The third and final readiness report has been published by TDF Hub 2014 Ltd, and it includes the result of a survey of people intending to watch the race. This shows that 25% of Stage 1 spectators expect to be in Leeds, and 25% in Harrogate. On Stage 2, York is the most popular location, followed by Sheffield; on stage 3, London will attract the most spectators, then Cambridge.

Read about the most popular places to watch the Tour according to the third readiness report.

Tour de France news: Froome loses Dauphiné

16th June 2014

Chris Froome lost the Criterium du Dauphiné, a key warm-up race for the Tour de France. Leading, after winning the first two stages, he suffered a crash on stage 6. Although he didn't lose time that day, he let the lead pass to Contador on the stage 7, then Froome cracked and lost more than five minutes on the  eighth and final day. Read more about Froome loses the Dauphiné...

Tour de France news: Wiggins won't ride the 2014 Tour

6th June 2014

Bradley Wiggins told BBC Breakfast TV today that, as it stands, he won't ride the 2014 Tour de France. It appears that only an injury, ruling out Chris Froome's participation, could change that. Read more on Wiggins' announcement...

Tour de France news: Kittel asks for respect and safety - video

5th June 2014

In a video made in conjuction with Tour organisers ASO, Marcel Kittel has asked spectators to respect the riders, and to ensure their own safety, and that of their dogs and children:

Tour de France news: Tony Hadley at Harewood Festival

4th June 2014

Harewood Festival of Cycling has announced their line-up for the concert on Friday 4th July. Tony Hadley, Rebecca Ferguson, and Soul II to Soul are due to play. They have also revealed the authors who will give talks in the Literature Tent - and they include Christophe Basson. Finally, there's to be a Night of Adventure on Saturday 5th July, with talks by adventure cyclists including Alistair Humphreys. Read more about the entertainment at Harewood Festival.

Tour de France news: Chris Froome interview

2nd June 2014

The BBC has an interview with current Tour de France champion Chris Froome, from Saturday 31st May. Froome was asked about his autobiography, in which he said that Bradley Wiggins was arrogant, and that in 2012, the other members of the team '...rode around him and his moods like a traffic island.' Froome said that this did not amount to digging up the past.

He was keener to talk about Richie Porte's prospects of taking part in the Tour de France, than those of Wiggins, and pointed out that Wiggins had spoken of taking part in a supporting role, not as a Plan B to Froome. 

Froome's interview will create doubt as to whether Wiggins will be selected for Sky's Tour team. Asked if we were going to see Wiggins on the start line in Leeds, Froome said, 'That's a hot topic at the moment...that's going to come down to what's best for the team, who's going to do the best role, the dynamics of the team...' See the interview on the BBC website.

Froome also spoke to the Yorkshire Post. He said he thought Stage 1 would be very tough for Mark Cavendish.

Tour de France news: Saffron Walden 1km challenge

30th May 2014

Saffron Walden market square

Saffron Walden is holding a 1km challenge with exercise bikes in the market square tomorrow, Saturday 31st May. Anyone can have a go, and post a time for 1km, which will be displayed on a board. There are passes to the Lord Butler leisure centre to be won by participants. Read about the Saffron Walden 1km challenge.

Tour de France news: Cavendish checks out Yorkshire stages and tells schoolboys, 'I'm going to win stage 1'

27th May 2014

Mark Cavendish

Mark Cavendish was in Yorkshire last week, to reconnoitre the first two stages of the 2014 Tour de France. He got lost between Leyburn and Middleham, and was set on the right road by some schoolboys. He told them, 'I'm going to win stage one.' Read about Cav's Yorkshire trip...

Tour de France news: Brownlee brothers and Harewood Festival

23rd May 2014

The Brownlee brothers were at Harewood earlier this month to set times for the time trial circuit and the trail run. Harewood have also added more places on led rides on the Tour weekend, after the initial allocation sold out. Read the latest news on the Harewood Festival...

Tour de France news: Ghost Peloton, Leeds

18th May 2014

On Friday 16th & Saturday 17th May 2014, one of the most intriguing performances of the Yorkshire Festival took place - the choreographed cyclists of the Ghost Peloton, with their LED lights. Read about the Ghost Peloton in Leeds...

Tour de France news: Le Petit Grand Départ cycle sportive, Skipton

18th May 2014

Kettlewell

As part of Skipton's celebrations for the Tour de France 2014, Le Petit Grand Départ cyclo-sportive will be held on Sunday 1st June. There are two routes - the recreational ride, over 33 miles, and the tougher 78-mile sportive ride. It will be an annual event. Read more about Le Petit Grand Départ, Skipton...

Tour de France news: three more spectator hubs announced

17th May 2014

Ripon Market Place

Welcome to Yorkshire yesterday announced three more official spectator hubs - the last three. On stage 1, there'll be a hub in Ripon, at the market place and the racecourse. There are also two extra hubs on stage 2 - at Monk Stray, York, and Calder Holmes Park, Hebden Bridge. Read more about them on spectator hubs page.

Tour de France news: Red Arrows display at Harewood Festival

16th May 2014

Harewood House

The Red Arrows are to perform a display over Harewood House on Saturday 5th July, at the start of the Tour de France 2014. Read more about the Red Arrows at Harewood...

Tour de France news: Armitstead to lead Harewood Festival of Cycling rides

8th May 2014

Harewood House gateway

Bike Radar reports that Lizzie Armitstead will lead certain rides at the Harewood Festival of Cycling

Led rides are being put on as part of the Festival, leading to viewing points to see the Tour de France. Armitstead will be one of the ride leaders. She said, 'Yorkshire's my home county, and the roads around Harewood House are some of my favourite to ride when I'm here, so going on a ride with the Yorkshire Festival of Cycling will be a bit like taking a big group of cycling fans on one of my training routes.' She added that she'd be taking it easy, enjoying the festival atmosphere, and chatting to fellow riders.

Tour de France news: British success with Yates, Cav, and Froome

4th May 2014

The BBC reports on triple success for British riders today. 21 year old Adam Yates, riding for Orica Green Edge, won the Tour of Turkey, while Mark Cavendish beat Elia Viviani to take the final stage, his fourth of the 8 stage race. 

Meanwhile, Chris Froome won the final stage of the Tour of Romandie, a time trial, to retain the title he won last year.

Tour de France news: La Course women's race in Paris

2nd May 2014

Paris

Tour de France organisers ASO are putting on a women's race in Paris, to coincide with the final stage of the men's Tour de France. The race, called La Course, will involve 13 laps of the Paris finishing circuit, taking in the Champs Elysées. Read about La Course...

Tour de France news: Ilkley Cycling Club Avantigas 2 day stage race

2nd May 2014

Ilkley from Ilkley Moor

Ilkley Cycling Club, the largest cycle club in the UK, is holding a 2 day race on the weekend of 3rd & 4th May. On Saturday 3rd, the race HQ is Beckwithshaw Village Hall, and there'll be a 50 mile road race in the morning, followed by a short team time trial in the afternoon. On Sunday 4th, there's a 45 mile road race around Dacre and Darley. Read more about the ICC Avantigas 2 day stage race...

Tour de France news: anti-Tour de France Harrogate letter attracts little support

1st May 2014

Royal Baths, Harrogate

A reader's letter published in the Harrogate Advertiser complaining about the Tour de France says 'this level of disruption is totally unacceptable.' The letter, claiming to represent the views of the 'silent majority' of Harrogate residents, sends the message to Le Tour that it is not welcome in these numbers. However, there was little support for these views below the line. One commenter described the letter as 'short-sighted', 'selfish', 'nonsense' and 'ridiculous'. Read more about the anti-Tour de France Harrogate letter...

Tour de France news: Bike maintenance & cycle tourism courses, part of Yorkshire Tour legacy

1st May 2014

Hebden Bridge Cycle Recycle

As part of the Yorkshire Tour de France legacy, Welcome to Yorkshire has organised subsidised cycling-related courses. There are bike maintenance courses at Dalby Bike Barn, Thornton le Dale, and more general cycle tourism courses. Read about the cycle-related courses as part of the Yorkshire Tour legacy...

Tour de France news: Tour de Buffy Great Chesterford & Saffron Walden sportive

29th April 2014

Cross Keys Hotel, Saffron Walden

The charity Buffy Playbus is organising a sportive in Uttlesford, starting at Great Chesterford, and taking in some of the route of Stage 3 of the Tour de France, including Saffron Walden. Read about the Tour de Buffy...

Tour de France news: Cycle safety poster campaign in North Yorks before the Tour

26th April 2014

Let's look out for each other

North Yorkshire County Council yesterday announced a cycle safety poster campaign. They have recently published an analysis of road casualty figures, showing an increase in cyclists killed or seriously injured in the county in 2013. In advance of the Tour de France in North Yorks this summer, the council will be using the Think! Bike poster campaign previously deployed in London and various other cities. Read about North Yorks cycle casualty figures and cycle safety campaign...

Tour de France news: Froome and Wiggins rested ahead of Tour 

25th April 2014

Neither Christopher Froome nor Bradley Wiggins is taking part in the Giro d' Italia, starting in Belfast on 9th May 2014. Sky's team will include Britons Ben Swift and Peter Kennaugh, plus Boasson Hagen, Cataldo, Deignan, Eisel, Henao, Puccio, and Siutsou.

Tour de France news: Marcel Kittel says Yorkshire's Tour roads are dangerous

25th April 2014

Narrow road at Bainbridge

The BBC reports that Marcel Kittel, winner of four stages in the 2013 Tour, has expressed fears for the safety of the peloton on narrow roads bordered by stone walls in Yorkshire, particularly when riders are nervous, and fighting for the yellow jersey. Read more on Marcel Kittel's comments on Yorkshire's Tour roads...

Tour de France news: Tour Team Presentation Ceremony tickets to go on sale

22nd April 2014

The Tour de France 2014 Team Presentation takes place at the Leeds Arena on Thursday 3rd July 2014, and tickets are about to go on sale. They are expected to be available from 9am on Friday 25th April 2014. Tickets are priced at £45, £55, £65, and £85.

Tour de France news: Tour stewarding, barriers & communications still £2.3m over-budget

22nd April 2014

A Leeds City Council report of 15th April 2014 shows that a contract for services for the Tour, including traffic management, stewarding, radio communications, temporary toilets, and signage, is still over budget. We reported on 22nd March 2014 that the winning bid had come in at £2.3m more than budgeted. 

The new report (para 4.4.2) gives the contract price as £4,475,860.89 (don't forget the 89p!), against a budget of £2,177,098. The council hopes to lower the price by reducing requirements wherever possible.

Tour de France news: up to 5 million to watch the TDF in the UK - Sir Rodney Walker

22nd April 2014

Sir Rodney Walker, chair of TDF Hub 2014 Ltd, has told The Independent he is expecting up to 5 million spectators in total for the Tour de France in the UK. He revealed that there will be an estimated 50,000 fans at the start in Leeds, and a maximum of 20,000 on one of the Stage 1 climbs, Buttertubs Pass. He also said that people should plan where they are going to watch the race, and travel in advance, rather than expecting to be able to decide spontaneously on the day to go and spectate. Read more on Sir Rodney Walker's Tour interview...

Tour de France news: Ilkley TDF preparation group meeting

20th April 2014

The last meeting of the Ilkley Tour de France preparation group discussed the recruitment of 'Ilkley Guides', car parking, an Ilkley Tour de France souvenir guide, and Tour de France legacy in Ilkley. Read about the Ilkley Tour de France preparation group meeting...

Tour de France news: avoid taking bikes on trains during the Tour

19th April 2014

Road.cc reports that the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) is advising cycling fans against taking bicycles on trains during the three days of the Tour de France in England. 

The report says that one million spectators are expected for each stage of the race, and extra trains and carriages will be added to cope with the demand. However, no extra provision is being made for bikes. Conrad Haigh, Head of Integrated Transport at ATOC, is quoted as follows: 'Cyclists are being asked to take a sensible approach and avoid bringing a bike on any train that might be busier than usual because of the Tour de France but, if it's unavoidable, they should allow extra time to make their journey.'

Tour de France news: Cavendish to miss Giro d' Italia

19th April 2014

The BBC reports that Mark Cavendish will not take part in the Giro d' Italia, which begins on 9th May 2014 in Belfast. He will instead concentrate on preparing for the Tour de France.

'As everybody knows, my big goal this year is the Tour de France, especially as it starts in my native country,' Cavendish said. He explained that he was sorry to miss the Giro, but '...with the Tour de France as my main objective this year, we had to make some choices.'

His preparation for the Tour will involve the Tour of Turkey (27th April to 4th May), the Tour of California (11th to 18th May), and the Tour of Switzerland (14th to 22nd June).

Tour de France news: official Grand Départ song by Alistair Griffin

19th April 2014

Yorkshire musician Alistair Griffin has written an official song for the Grand Départ. The song is called 'The Road', and a 34 second excerpt is available on Youtube:

The song, which was commissioned by Welcome to Yorkshire, also features Kimberley Walsh of Girls Aloud, and the Grimethorpe Colliery Brass Band. The video was filmed on 15th April 2014, at Scargill reservoir, near Norwood, in the countryside outside Harrogate. 

The Northern Echo reports that The Road will be released on 30th June 2014. It isn't to everyone's taste. One comment on Youtube says, 'Oh dear...an official song for Le Grand Départ. Soft country rock to boot.'

Tour de France news: Tour artwork in Harrogate

11th April 2014

A Tour-themed stained glass window by artist Caryl Hallett is due to go on permanent display at the junction of Montpellier Hill and Parliament Street, and portraits of Yorkshire Tour legends have gone up on the outside wall of The Factory in Harrogate. Read about Tour de France artwork in Harrogate...

Tour de France news: Barry Hoban - Stage 1 will split the field to smithereens

8th April 2014

Grinton Moor climb, Stage 1

The Yorkshire Post has an interview with former professional cyclist Barry Hoban, who won eight stages of the Tour de France between 1967 and 1975. He knows the roads of Stage 1 very well, and he believes that many people are under-estimating the difficulty of the stage, and the amount of climbing. 

'It's going to be two explosive stages for the Tour de France but I think a lot of people are going to be in for a surprise. I keep seeing comments to say it is a reasonably flattish stge - the first stage is not flat at all. There are some lumps in there that are going to hurt a lot of legs - it's certainly not going to be an easy stage. I think the field is going to be split to smithereens, there will not be a big bunch sprint through Harrogate.' Hoban believes Peter Sagan has the best chance of winning the opening stage of the 2014 Tour.

The veteran cyclist also predicted that the Yorkshire stages will be a hit with spectators, who will turn up in huge numbers, and may come for the week, not just the weekend..

Tour de France 2014 news: the Grand Departs, piano pulled up Cragg Vale

5th April 2014

Cragg Vale

The Grand Departs took place today at Cragg Vale. As part of the Yorkshire Festival, a group of cyclists pulled a piano from Mytholmroyd to Blackstone Edge, while pianists took turns to play it. The Halifax Courier has a report, and this is a short video of the event:

Tour de France 2014 news: Yorkshire Tour de France legacy update

5th April 2014

At the recent Y14 conference in Harrogate, Cycle Yorkshire released the latest version of its Tour de France legacy strategy document. There is no longer any mention of a Regional Delivery Plan - presumably that idea has been abandoned. However, improving cycling infrastructure has been added to the five main objectives.

Other new information is that all of their local authority members have created long-term cycling strategies. HedgehogCycling looks forward to reading these. It's also now possible for individuals, schools, sports clubs, and businesses to become members of Cycle Yorkshire.

Read our Yorkshire Tour de France legacy update.

Tour de France 2014 news: Boardman says opportunity for a Tour legacy could be missed

30th March 2014

Chris Boardman believes the opportunity for a legacy from the Tour de France could be missed. He is disappointed by the government's response to British Cycling's 'Choose Cycling' manifesto, and says that you have got to do something if you want change. Read more on Boardman's warning about a Tour de France legacy...

Tour de France 2014 news: Y14 conference in Harrogate

29th March 2014

Harrogate International Centre

Welcome to Yorkshire's Y14 conference took place at Harrogate International Centre on 27th March 2014, with 100 days to go until the Tour. A new annual 3-day bike race in Yorkshire was announced, and the official Grand Depart anthem was performed for the first time. Read more about the Welcome to Yorkshire Conference in Harrogate...

Tour de France 2014 news: Official spectator hubs anounced

28th March 2014

The official spectator hubs for the first two stages of the 2014 Tour de France were announced on 26th March 2014. They won't be the only spectator events, but the official hubs benefit from funding from the company set up to organise the race in England, and they will be listed in official Tour brochures and publicity.

Hubs on Stage 1 include Victoria Gardens on the Headrow in Leeds, Otley, Ilkley, Skipton, Hawes, and West Park Stray in Harrogate. Stage 2 hubs include York racecourse, Knaresborough Castle, Keighley, Howarth, Huddersfield, Holmfirth, and Don Valley Bowl near the finish in Sheffield. 

See the locations and details of all the official spectator hubs for the Tour de France 2014 in Yorkshire...

Tour de France 2014 news: Tour makers selected

24th March 2014

12,000 people have been selected as Tour Makers - the volunteers who will help with the organisation of the first three stages of the Tour, in various roles including wayfinders, route marshals, and crossing marshals. The Yorkshire Post quotes Gary Verity, who said that one of the incentives to sign up as a Tour Maker is that people will be able to say, 'I was there and I helped make it happen.'

According to the Harrogate Advertiser, the next step for volunteers is to complete an online event training module. There will be motivational training and uniform collection days in May and June.

Tour de France 2014 news: Tour de France plans in Howarth

23rd March 2014

Following a meeting on 14th March 2014, it has been announced that the riders will go up the cobbles of Main St in Haworth, but the publicity caravan will use the (wider) Rawdon Rd. See the route of the Tour in Haworth, plus details of road closures...

Tour de France 2014 news: TDF Hub 2014 Ltd publishes second readiness report

22nd March 2014

TDF Hub 2014 Ltd, the not-for-profit company co-ordinating preparations for the Tour de France 2014, yesterday published its second readiness report. It says that 12,000 people have applied for the 10,000 Tour Maker posts; that the official spectator hubs are to be announced soon; and that a survey indicates the start and finish of stages will be the most popular locations for spectators. There's also information on procurement and budget. Read about TDF Hub 2014 Ltd's second readiness report...

Tour de France 2014 news: Masham's plans for the Tour weekend

21st March 2014

Masham Sports Association is organising events in Masham over the Tour weekend. They are centred around the recreation ground, which is just 100m from Saturday's race route. There'll be a big screen showing the first two stages of the Tour, children's entertainment, food, wine and beer, and live music and fireworks in the evening. Read about what's planned in Masham for the Tour de France...

Tour de France 2014 news: BBC Look North presenters to ride Tour route for Sport Relief

17th March 2014

BBC Look North presenters Harry Gration and Amy Garcia are cycling the route of the Tour de France in Yorkshire for Sport Relief. They set off on Friday 14th March 2014, and the ride will take them 8 days, stopping off at schools and businesses along the way. See the BBC video report of their last training ride.

Tour de France 2014 news: Gary Verity interview

1st March 2014

Gary Verity, the chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, gave an interview to road.cc, published yesterday. In it, Mr Verity said that the Grand Départ bid was his idea from the start. 

He revealed that he has a team of forty people at Welcome to Yorkshire, working on the Tour de France. He side-stepped a question about past conflict with the UK government, saying '...we now have great support within the government from the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister...'

Verity said that he will watch the end of the race in Paris, then have a holiday.

Tour de France 2014 news: Wiggins to ride the Tour

15th February 2014

According to William Fotheringham's interview with Bradley Wiggins, published in yesterday's Guardian, the Sky rider intends to take part in this year's Tour de France. Wiggins said, 'When I watched bits of the [2013] Tour [I realised] that I missed it and that I wanted to go back. I'm not done yet.' He will ride it as part of the Sky team, working for leader Chris Froome.

Wiggins is also quoted as saying, 'London seven years ago seemed more normal because you expect a capital city to host the Tour, but Leeds, you know, it's quite random for the Tour de France. That's not disrespectful but a mark of how big the sport is in the UK now.'

Wiggins' schedule is likely to include the Milan-San Remo in March, the Paris-Roubaix in April, the Tour of California in May, and the Dauphiné in June.

Tour de France 2014 news: Cavendish's whole year is about Harrogate

1st February 2014

In an interview with the Independent, Mark Cavendish said that Stage 1 of the Tour de France, finishing in Harrogate, is 'going to be what my whole season is built around. If I had to choose one stage of the 21 in the Tour, that's got to be it.' He added, 'I want to win wherever I race, the team's invested a lot in me. But if there's one race that I can win in 2014, then that would be it.'

The winner of Stage 1 will also win the first yellow jersey of the 2014 Tour. Cavendish told the Independent, 'It's my mum's home town, it's designed for a sprint, I haven't yet worn the maillot jaune, and I want to do it.'

Cavendish predicted that the start of this year's Tour de France in Britain would be 'spectacular'. 'I don't think people yet realise how massive it's going to be this summer. In 2007, cycling wasn't even popular in the UK and it was absolutely incredible, the best Grand Départ there's ever been. This year's is going to be spectacular.'

Tour de France 2014 news: arrangements in Harrogate town centre for the finish of Stage 1

29th January 2014

Hotel du Vin and war memorial, Harrogate

Plans for Harrogate town centre on the day of Stage 1 of the Tour de France 2014 (5th July 2014) are taking shape. One side of West Park will be a private area, reserved for the race organisers and TV crews. The other side, including the area around the war memorial, will be open to the public, and Welcome to Yorkshire will set up grandstands there. 

Read more about Harrogate town centre during Stage 1 of the Tour de France, and see a map...

Tour de France 2014 news: tickets for Tour de France at York races go within hours

27th January 2014

York racecourse

20,000 free tickets to see the start of Stage 2 of the Tour de France 2014 at York raceourse were made available on Thursday 23rd January 2014. They were all taken within hours. 

The tickets were available from 9am, and they were gone by 1.30pm. 

According to the Yorkshire Post, Sonja Crisp, councillor and cabinet member for Leisure, Culture, & Tourism, said, 'It just shows what an appetite there is for this, the world's largest single sporting event, in one of the world's most beautiful cities. We're being asked about the possibility of more tickets being released. Everyone's safety has to be the priority and we have to consider the quality of their experience, so a decision will be made later in spring. Meanwhile, there are still many, many opportunities to enjoy the race around the city which are yet to be announced.'

A statement from York racecourse initially indicated that there may be further free tickets available. After a period of review, they issued a further statement saying there would in fact be no more free tickets, but there are still hospitality packages for sale.

There will also be other places in the city to watch the Tour.

Tour de France 2014 news: road closures in North Yorkshire for the Tour de France

24th January 2014

Roads on the route of the Tour de France in North Yorkshire will be closed for a minimum of eight hours, the county council has announced. This will allow time to prepare the race route, hand over the roads to the race organisers, let the publicity caravan and the race pass, take down the race infrastructure, and for spectators to disperse safely. Read more about road closures for the Tour de France 2014...

Tour de France 2014 news: Yorkshire Tour Maker positions over-subscribed

19th January 2014

26,000 people volunteered to be Tour Makers, helping out with the organisation of the Tour de France in Yorkshire. As only 10,000 are needed, this represents a success for the organisers, who will now choose their preferred candidates.

Road.cc quoted Gary Verity, of Welcome to Yorkshire, who said, 'We've had an overwhelming response to our call for people to register an interest in becoming a Tour Maker. It clearly demonstrates not only how excited and passionate people are about the Tour de France coming to Yorkshire, but also their willingness to get out there and get involved in volunteering to help make this the grandest of Grand Départs in history.'

Tour Maker applications for Yorkshire closed at the end of December, but Stage 3 (Cambridge to London) applications remain open until tomorrow, Monday 20th January 2014.

Tour de France 2014 news: Yorkshire Festival launch in Harrogate

18th January 2014

Harrogate International Centre

The Yorkshire Festival is to be launched in Harrogate on 27th March 2014, one hundred days before the Tour de France. A chat-show style event will be held at Harrogate International Centre, hosted by sports presenter Rob Walker. Read more about the launch of the Yorkshire Festival in Harrogate...

Tour de France 2014 news: Tour de France garden

11th January 2014

World's End, Knaresborough

Harrogate Borough Council is to create a Tour de France garden for the Harrogate Spring Flower Show. The garden will then find a permanent home at World's End, Knaresborough. Read more about the Tour de France garden...

Tour de France 2014 news: three-day race in Yorkshire

9th January 2014

The Tour de France organisers, ASO, are likely to run an annual race in Yorkshire, probably starting in May 2015. It will be a 3-day stage race, with a time trial plus short road race on the Friday, then longer road stages on Saturday and Sunday. 

According to The Guardian, ASO has had discussions with Welcome to Yorkshire and British Cycling about the event, which would be part of the Tour de France legacy.

The paper's article mentions the success of British cyclists as a key reason for choosing Yorkshire for the Grand Départ. Christian Prudhomme, the Tour organiser, is quoted as follows, 'For Yorkshire to win ahead of Florence [the other main candidate] is no small thing. Florence is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, a really exceptional place, and the Tour has never started from Italy. I could cite other cities, but those were the two finalists - the success of the British cyclists tipped the balance.'

Tour de France 2014 news: TDF Hub 2014 Ltd readiness report

27th December 2013

TDF Hub 2014 Ltd has produced its first 'readiness report'. Sir Rodney Walker, Chairman of the company set up by UK Sport to coordinate preparations for the Tour, says in the report that its work is 'on track'.

The readiness report includes details of milestones achieved so far, the costs and financing of the Tour, and the estimated benefits. Read about TDF Hub 2014 Ltd's first readiness report...

Tour de France 2014 news: Harrogate College TDF sculpture competition winner

21st December 2013

The Harrogate Advertiser reports that Beckie Kirby won a competition among Harrogate College students, to design a Tour de France related sculpture, which will stand outside the Cedar Court Hotel in Harrogate. The winnning design consists of two spirals, and will be made out of metal and blue perspex, standing 20ft high on a stone base. It will be unveiled in March 2014.

Tour de France 2014 news: 10,000 Tour Makers sought

14th December 2013

Welcome to Yorkshire are seeking 10,000 volunteers to be 'Tour Makers' - to help with the organisation of the Tour de France 2014 in Yorkshire. 

Nick Clegg and cyclist Malcolm Elliott helped launch the volunteer recruitment yesterday, 13th December. Asda are sponsors, helping by providing Tour Maker uniforms, as well as training and food and drink during the event.

The deadline for applications to be a Tour Maker is 31st December 2013, and applicants will be contacted in January 2014. Applications can be made via Asda, or through the Welcome to Yorkshire website.

Tour de France 2014 news: finish of final stage to circle Arc de Triomphe in Paris

5th December 2013

The Tour de France will circle the Arc de Triomphe when it finishes in Paris. 

The race always finished on the Champs Elysées, but in 2013, it went around the Arc de Triomphe for the first time. When the 2014 route was announced in October 2013, it was thought that the riders would not be able to take the 2013 route. However, Velo News reports that the police commissioner has now given permission for this to happen.

In a change from 2013, the race will cross the Pont Alexandre III, instead of the Pont du Carrousel. The riders will cross the finish line about 7.30pm.

Tour de France 2014 news: consultation on a suspension of sections of Harrogate Stray Act 1985

29th November 2013

West Park Stray, Harrogate

Harrogate is hosting the finish of Stage 1 of the 2014 Tour de France, and Stage 2 goes past the Empress and New Park roundabouts. One of the reasons Harrogate was chosen was the large area of open parkland available near the town centre, Harrogate Stray. However, some sections of the Harrogate Stray Act 1985 prevent The Stray being used in the way the Tour organisers wish to use it. Harrogate Borough Council is now seeking to resolve that problem by a disapplication of the Act, limited to 19.5 hectares of The Stray, and to sixteen days. Read more about the consultation on a disapplication of the Stray Act...

Tour de France 2014 news: Tour de France preparations in Ilkley

29th November 2013

There was a report in today's Guardian of a Tour de France meeting in Ilkley, as part of the preparations for the Tour de France. According to the article, 8% of Ilkley's population is a member of the local cycling club. Ilkley is planning a week's worth of events leading up to the Tour, with a sportive the Sunday before, town centre races, an after-school family ride, and a bike show in the Winter Gardens.

Tour de France 2014 news: local knitters asked to make mini jerseys as bunting

24th November 2014

le Tour de Bunting TDF mini-jerseys

Harrogate Borough Council Parks Team launched 'le Tour de Bunting' at the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate (21st to 24th November 2013). They are asking people to knit miniature yellow, green, white, and polka-dot jerseys to be used as bunting in Harrogate's parks, and hope to receive a total of 3000. Read more about Le Tour de Bunting...

Tour de France 2014 news: Yorkshire Festival of Cycling tickets go on sale

7th November 2014

Tickets for the Yorkshire Festival of Cycling at Harewood House over the weekend of 5th & 6th July 2014 have gone on sale. The basic price is £18 per adult for one day, or £30 for the weeknd. There are more price options for groups and camping.

The participation events have also been announced. They include led rides to watch the race at the Festival's 'hub' points, time trials on closed roads within Harewood, and a family fun ride. These sound great, if a little pricey (for example, £26.50 to enter the 10-mile time trial). The team time trial seems badly timed, though, at 3pm on Saturday 5th July 2014.

Tour de France 2014 news: Tour de France tree sculpture completed in Harrogate

5th November 2013

Tour de France tree sculpture, Harrogate

A representation of a Tour de France cyclist was created today in Harrogate. Mick Burns, a chainsaw sculptor, carved the work into an elm tree stump at the bottom of Montpellier Hill. The dead tree was chopped down last month.

Tour de France 2014 news: Great Yorkshire Showground to open caravan and camp site for Tour de France

5th November 2013

The Great Yorkshire Showground has obtained planning permission for a caravan and camp site, which will open in time for the Tour de France, and then continue afterwards. Harrogate BC has allowed a maximum of 71 caravan spaces, reports the Harrogate Advertiser.

Tour de France 2014 news: Rudding Park launches 'Ride le Route'

26th October 2013

Rudding Park Hotel and spa, which will accommodate three of the teams during the Tour de France, has launched 'Ride le Route'. From March 2014, guests can book a two-night stay which includes cycling goodies, a bike check at Harrogate's Specialized shop, a Tour de France film screening, a cycling jersey, and a post-ride massage. 

The package costs £407 or £457, based on two people sharing. An experienced local cyclist can be booked as a guide, for an extra £100.

Rudding Park won the 2013 Trip Advisor Travellor's Choice award for best hotel in the UK.

Tour de France 2014 news: route of Stage 1 Tour de France 2014 to be permanently signposted

23rd October 2013

The route of Stage 1 of the 2014 Tour de France is to be permanently signposted, Gary Verity of Welcome to Yorkshire told journalists at the presentation of the race in Paris today. The signs are to be paid for by North Yorkshire County Council, and should be in place by January 2014. 

Mr Verity also said that a mass-participation sportive is being planned for a short time before the Tour itself.

He expects the Cultural Festival in the 100 days before the Tour de France to raise the bar for other hosts of the race.

Tour de France 2014 news: route of the Tour de France 2014 announced in Paris

23rd October 2013

At a press conference in Paris today, the organisers of the Tour de France announced the route of the 2014 race. The first three stages in the UK were confirmed. Other highlights include five mountain-top finishes, 15km of cobbles in northern France, and a single 54km time trial - on the penultimate stage of the Tour.

Read our full report of the presentation of the route of the Tour de France 2014, and our live blog of the TDF 2014 press conference.

Tour de France 2014 news: Harewood House to host Festival of Cycling

20th October 2013

Harewood House is to host a Yorkshire Festival of Cycling over the weekend of Friday 4th to Sunday 6th July 2014, when the Tour de France is in the county. The highlight will be the visit of the race itself, shortly after the start in Leeds. The riders will pause at Harewood, and be greeted by a very very important person.

There's camping (tent, caravan, or motorhome) from £120 per ptich, and lots of entertainment all weekend, as well as led rides to good vantage points to see the race. Tickets go on sale at the start of November 2013.

Read more about the Yorkshire Festival of Cycling at Harewood...

Tour de France 2014 news: Starbeck to set up spectator hub for Tour de France

19th October 2013

Starbeck is to set up a spectator hub on Belmont Field (on the left hand side of the main road, just before the level crossing, as you come from Knaresborough) for the first two stages of the Tour de France 2014. On the weekend of 5th & 6th July 2014, there will be a big screen, a funfair, and live music, a report in the Harrogate Advertiser says.

Starbeck is also holding a public Tour de France meeting at 7pm on 14th November 2013, at the Working Men's Club, to discuss how to make the most of the race.

Tour de France 2014 news: RHS encourages yellow 'Tour de France' displays of bedding plants

12th October 2013

The Royal Horticultural Society in Yorkshire is suggesting that gardeners prepare dramatic displays of yellow flowers, to coincide with the Tour de France in early July next year. They have advice on what to buy, where to buy it, and how to grow it, so it looks spectacular at just the right time.

Tour de France 2014 news: Alex Dowsett hopes for Tour de France place

12th October 2013

Cycling Weekly reports that British rider Alex Dowsett is hoping to be given a ride in the Tour de France 2014 by his team, Movistar. The highlight of his 2013 season was a stage win in the Giro d' Italia in May.

Dowsett's reputation suffered at the time Lance Armstrong's cheating was exposed, when he said, 'I don't think it matters. He is still a legend of the sport. A guy who had cancer, came back and won the Tour de France.' He had ridden for Armstrong's Trek-Livestrong Under-23 development squad. He later said that Armstrong's doping was completely unacceptable.

Tour de France 2014 news: Sheffield City Council to spend almost £1m to host the Tour de France

12th October 2013

The BBC reports that Sheffield is to spend £900,000 hosting the Tour de France. £200,000 of that sum is a staging fee payable to the Tour de France organisers. It is estimated that the race could bring £15m into the South Yorkshire economy.

In the meantime, the Don Valley stadium closed on 30th September 2013.

The exact route of the race within Sheffield should be known after the Tour de France press conference on 23rd October 2013.

Tour de France 2014 news: Harrogate to spend £785,000 hosting the Tour de France

September 2013

Harrogate Borough Council has allocated £785,000 to meet costs associated with the Tour, reports the Harrogate Advertiser.

The money will be spent on accommodating the Tour, including removing street furniture and street lights, puting all-weather matting on the Stray, dressing up the town, and creating spectator hubs.  300,000 people are expected to watch Stage One along the route, with 120,000 of those at the finish in Harrogate.