Tour de France 2014 UK stages
The 2014 Tour de France begins in the UK on 5th July 2014.
one of the
2014 Tour de France (the grand
starts at Leeds Town Hall, on the Headrow in Leeds,
goes through the
Yorkshire Dales, and finishes at the Hotel du Vin, on West Park in
is from the racecourse in York to Sheffield (exact route in Sheffield
to be confirmed), then stage three
is from Parker's Piece in
Cambridge to the Mall in London, taking in the Olympic Park, and other
The route of Stage One of the 2014 Tour de France, on 5th July 2014, is from Leeds to Harrogate, via the Yorkshire Dales. It's 190km, according to the Tour de France map, but comes to 203km on route mapping websites. This is probably because the official distance begins when the racing starts at Harewood, and does not include the section from Leeds, which is a procession where the riders must stay together behind a race organisers' vehicle.
The last 60km of Stage One are mainly flat, and it is expected to end in a bunch sprint in Harrogate
The départ - Leeds to Harewood (0-13km; 0-8mi)
Stage One begins outside the Town Hall in Leeds, and picks up the A61, which is urban dual carriageway at first, with plenty of roundabouts. The A61 crosses the Leeds Ring Road between Moortown and Moor Allerton, then emerges into the countryside by Alwoodley Gates school, heading for Harewood House.
Harewood House to Otley (13-27km; 8-17 mi)
The riders will go in procession to Harewood, where they'll pause in the grounds, to be greeted by a VVIP, and the people attending the Festival of Cycling there. When they exit the grounds of Harewood House, they'll take a left turn onto the A659, for a flat ride along the river Wharfe, via Pool to Otley. From Harewood, the racing starts.
The riders will have to make a sharp right/left dogleg in the centre of Otley, that anyone who has crawled through the town by car will remember. Otley is the home town of Lizzie Armitstead, silver medallist in the women's road race at the 2012 London Olympics. She is patron of Otley's thriving cycle club.
Otley to Ilkley (27-35km; 17-22mi)
The Tour de France route veers right at a roundabout in the west of Otley, and continues along the wide, flat A660, which then becomes the A65, and follows the Wharfe to Ilkely.
Read more about Stage One of the Tour de France 2014...
The route of Stage Two of the 2014 Tour de France, on 6th July 2014, is from York to Sheffield, via Howarth, Hebden Bridge, Huddersfield, and Holmfirth. It's 200km, according to the Tour de France map, and a little further on route mapping websites, probably due to a neutralised section at the start as the riders process through York.
Stage Two is a real 'up hill and down dale' stage, which is unlikely to result in a bunch sprint. It will probably be more suited to the attackers and climbers. The succession of hills is said to resemble the famous Liege-Bastogne-Liege race.
York to Knaresborough (0-30km; 0-19mi)
Stage Two begins at the racecourse in York. The race goes over Skeldergate bridge, past Clifford's Tower then the Minster, and out towards Clifton; then left, over the river Ouse again, and right out of York on the A59.
The A59 is flat, as it goes past the villages of Poppleton and Green Hammerton, crossing the Nidd in between them. It then takes the riders into Knaresborough, where they cross the Nidd again.
Knaresborough to Bolton Bridge (30-60km; 19-37mi)
Leaving Knaresborough, Stage Two of the Tour de France 2014 continues on the A59, through Starbeck, and up to the Empress roundabout on the edge of Harrogate. The riders won't go into the centre of Harrogate today, but follow the road round to the New Park (or Little Wonder) roundabout, then head out on the A59 Skipton Road.
They'll pass the wind turbines at Knabs Ridge, and the golf balls at Menwith Hill; they then go by the end of Fewston reservoir, near Blubberhouses, and climb the gully known as Kex Gill. They're now on open moor, and they soon cross into the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
There's a gentle descent to Bolton Bridge.
Read more about Stage Two of the Tour de France 2014...
29th November 2013: Consultation on a suspension of Harrogate Stray Act for the Tour...
7th November 2013: Tickets for Harewood Cycling Festival go on sale, & events announced...
5th November 2013: Tour de France tree sculpture in Harrogate...
23rd October 2013: Route of Stage 1 to be permanently signposted...
23rd October 2013: Route of the whole Tour de France 2014 announced in Paris...
19th October 2013: Starbeck to set up Tour de France hub at Belmont Field...
12th October 2013: the RHS has a guide to growing displays of yellow flowers for the Tour...
12th October 2013: Sheffield to spend nearly £1 million hosting the Tour de France...
Read all the latest news of the UK stages of the Tour de France 2014...
Tour de France 2014 UK stages: videos of the route of Stages 1 & 2
We have videos the route of Stages 1 & 2 of the Tour de France 2014. They show the roads the riders will take, the countryside, landmarks, and attractions along the way, and cyclists riding the Tour de France route.
The success of Welcome to Yorkshire's bid to host the Tour was announced on 14th December 2012. Their case had been helped by a promotional film, to highlight the beauty of the Yorkshire countryside, and by Mark Cavendish's backing. (His uncle, Russell Davidson, lives in Harrogate, and was part of the Yorkshire delegation that travelled to Paris).
When the Tour de France team visited Yorkshire, they were taken by helicopter to the North York Moors and the Yorkshire Dales, and they landed at Harewood House, where Simon Guellor, chef of the Box Tree restaurant in Ilkely, prepared Yorkshire lamb for them.
Details of the route were announced at a press conference on 17th January 2013, given by Keith Wakefield of Leeds City Council, Gary Verity of Welcome to Yorkshire, and Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour de France. After the press conference, an event was held outside the town hall, called La Nuit du Tour.
In an interview on the Le Tour Yorkshire website, Christian Prudhomme said, 'I was struck by the beauty of Yorkshire and difference between it in summer and winter as well as the contrast between what a great city Leeds is and the beautiful countryside which is only a few kilometres away.' He believes the route in Yorkshire will be visually stunning and technically challenging. He was also stuck by the desire of the people of Yorkshire to welcome the Tour. 'There is a real desire, there is everything you need (sites, cities, places, infrastructure) to make the Grand Départ an incredible time.'
Thierry Gouvenou, the Sports Director of the Tour de France, was responsible for choosing the route of the race. He said, 'The topography of Yorkshire offers a very diverse terrain with its plains and hills, and allowed us to offer the cyclists two different stages. I can tell you that it will be a very difficult Grand Depart...'
Harrogate, which hosts the finish of Stage One of the 2014 Tour de France, and sees the riders return in the early stages of Stage Two, is due to spend £785,000 on preparations to host the Tour.
Harrogate Borough Council has produced a series of Tour de France leaflets to help and advise people on various aspects of the Tour de France, including pop-up campsites, and renting out a house, or setting up a B&B.
For example, in its campsites leaflet, the Council advises that no planning permission is required for a temporary (not more than 28 days) site in an open field. Temporary car parks are possible without permission in certain circumstances, but the Tour de France organisers ask that charges don't exceed the equivalent of €10 per day. The house rental and B&B leaflet says there are no council rules preventing renting out your house, and B&Bs for up to six guests do not normally require permission. Community parties are possible on fields and village greens, but will require permission to take place on the public road.
Read more about the Tour de France in Harrogate...
Tour de France 2014 UK stages: where to stay
Many of the hotels along the route of the Tour de France 2014 in the UK were already booked up in August 2013, according to a report in This is Money. They also found rates at some hotels three times higher during the weekend of the race than just before or after.
Prices should be lower away from the route of the race, but at a reasonable distance. Camping and caravanning are also popular amongst cycling fans. Some campsites will only open their bookings nearer the time. There will also be pop-up campsites, of the type forseen by Harrogate council. Harewood House is organising the Yorkshire Festival of Cycling, with camping in Harewood grounds over the weekend 4th-6th July 2014.
The Great Yorkshire Showground has obtained planning permission for a caravan and camp site, in time for the Tour de France (and continuing afterwards, on the basis that Harrogate wishes to be a major events town, and so needs all types of accommodation for visitors). See this report in the Harrogate Advertiser.
There are, though, places where it might be better to avoid camping. In particular, stage one of the race passes through a military firing range between Grinton and Leyburn, Bellerby Ranges. Even for the chance of a good view of the world's greatest bike race, it might not be worth taking the chance that there are unexploded munitions under your tent.
Cycling Weekly has a few ideas for unusual places to stay during the Yorkshire stages of the Tour.
There's also the possibility of renting accommodation in private houses. Airbnb would be an option, although it does look as though prices may go up for the period of the race.
Tour de France 2014 UK stages: watching the race
The race will be preceeded by a publicity caravan of 180 vehicles (giving out free goodies), which will be 20km long, and take 45 minutes to pass by.
Harewood House is on the route of Stage One (after the départ fictif in Leeds, and just before the real racing gets going), with the race scheduled to call in and pause there - a brilliant opportunity to see the riders. Those attending the Festival of Cycling at Harewood, will be able to watch the race on big screens, or join a led ride to a good vantage point to see the race. As well as the led rides, they have various other participation events, such as a time trial, and a family fun ride - both on closed roads within Harewood.
The hosting of the Tour de France should lead to a cycling legacy for the Yorkshire & Humber region. Welcome to Yorkshire has set up a Cycle Yorkshire website, outlining plans to promote and develop cycling in the region, as part of a legacy from the race. Read more about the Yorkshire Tour de France legacy...
Tour de France 2014 UK stages: Frequently Asked Questions
These are some of the questions asked about the UK stages of the Tour de France 2014.
How many people are expected to watch the UK stages of the Tour de France?
Around 880,000 people will watch Stage 1 of the Tour de France 2014, and it is anticipated that there will be 1,020,000 spectators along the route of Stage 2. (Source: report in the Harrogate Advertiser). It is impossible to come up with exact figures in advance. At the presentation of the Tour de France 2014 on 23rd October 2013, Gary Verity of Welcome to Yorkshire said he expected more than a million people to watch the two Yorkshire stages. 'I would think that would be the minimum - probably closer to two million, that will depend on the weather.'
Where are the spectator hubs for the Tour de France 2014 (UK stages)?
There will be spectator hubs in Harrogate, Knaresborough, Masham, and Ripon. Harewood House is running a Festival of Cycling weekend, from Friday 4th to Sunday 6th July 2014, and the race is due to call in and pause there on Saturday 5th July. There are sure to be others too - we'll update this information when we know more.
Where's the nearest place to Manchester to watch the Tour de France 2014?
Stage 2 of the Tour de France 2014 goes quite close to Manchester. To the NE of Manchester, the race goes along the side of Blackstone Edge reservoir (take the A58 via Littleborough to get there). It also goes through Holmfirth, and climbs Holme Moss, before going past the Woodhead reservoir. Take the A635 over Saddleworth Moor to Holmfirth; or the A628 to the Woodhead reservoir. Stage 2 finishes in Sheffield.
Who set the route of the Yorkshire stages of the Tour de France?
Thierry Gouvenou, a former professional cyclist, who has completed seven Tours de France, was the traceur who set the route of the two days of racing in Yorkshire.