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Tour De France comes to the Peak District

Tour De France comes to the Peak District

The Peak District National Park in the United Kingdom will be a co-host of the biggest cycling event in the world -Tour De France 2014. 

Hundreds of thousands of cycling fans will position themselves this July on the Yorkshire roadside to support the finest athletes and champions.

The organisation behind the event expects around 150,000 visitors will be attending Tour De France in the Peak District, but according to media, that figure could be significantly higher, possibly even a million.

Campsites in the park and region are almost fully booked, and local businesses are heated up and are preparing for the hottest weekend in July.

If you are thinking of visiting the Peak District and enjoying the biggest cycling event in the world, you should act fast and try to grab a safe spot.  

The Grand Départ 2014 is starting in Leeds on 5th July, and the first three opening days of The Tour De France 2014 are all going to take place in England. The first two days are reserved for Yorkshire, while the third day will be taking place from Cambridge to London.

There will be 17 official Spectator Hubs positioned in the region during the first two stages, all of which have free admission. The hubs will all be different sizes, the largest of which will be able to host up to 20,000 spectators. Every spectator hub will be equipped with a big screen where the live coverage of the race will be shown.  Hubs will also be featuring food and drinks, entertainment program and public toilets.

Road closures are to be expected and full detail about closed roads can be found here.
The animated videos of the tour which will help you to better understand the route and what will be happening in the Peak District and Yorkshire during the big weekend can be downloaded here

Stage 1 (Saturday 5th July) – From Leeds to Harrogate

First stage of the Grand Départ 2014 starts on Saturday 5th July  in Leeds and it is 190km long.  This stage will be taking 180 cyclists from all over the world through wonderful scenery and stunningly peaceful countryside of the Yorkshire Dales. The grand finish of the stage is expected with a sprint going into Harrogate.

During the first day, the tour will be passing through amazing and interesting towns and villages like Otley, Kettlewell, Reeth and West Tanfield, each with own stories to tell.

Stage 2 (Sunday 6th July) – From York to Sheffield

On Sunday 6th July the tour continues and it will span across 200km. Stage 2 is starting in York, going onwards via Harrogate and Keighley to Huddersfield and will be finishing in Sheffield.

The second stage is the most exciting stage for everyone who will be spending their time in the Peak District national park because around 37km is passing directly through the national park.

We will be able to see around 180 cyclists pedaling through what is promised to be one of the most dramatic sections of the whole Grand Départ. This section is considered to be a fine challenge with a lot of long epic climbs and a huge number of short but sharp climbs.

Riders will be entering the Peak District at Homlfirth where they start climbing up towards Holme Moss up to the roof of the Pennies while passing past the highest radio transmitter in the UK which is 524m high. Then they will be heading to Langsett across the Woodhead Pass, then afterward via Strines and Bradfield where they will be taking the descent towards Sheffield.

A timetable of Stage 2 through the Peak District National Park:

Expect at – Advance Convoy – Race

Holme – 13:00 – 14:45

A628 – 13:15 – 15:00

A616 – 13:45 – 15:20

Bradfield – 14:00 – 15:30

Sheffield – 14:45 – 16:15

Stage 3 (Monday 7th July) – From Cambridge to London

Stage 3 is starting on Monday 7th July in Cambridge, and it slides down through Essex and finishes in London on The Mall. Stage 3 will be 159km long.

The route starts at Cambridge and it will be passing some of the famous buildings and sights in the town including The Round Church, King’s College Chapel, and Botanic Garden. After gazing upon the great architecture of Cambridge cyclists will head south towards London through Stapleford and Hixton, then via Rayne down to Felsted. After passing Chelmsford the cyclists will be entering London over Epping and Epping Forest which will lead them to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park where they will be entering the city of London. 

As the cyclists enter London they will pass the Royal Docks, going on to Canary Wharf, then upwards to the Tower of London, from where they will be following the River Thames all the way to the Houses of Parliament where they will be making a turn towards Buckingham Palace. After passing the Palace they will be riding across the red carpet of The Mall all the way to the Trafalgar Square.