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The Tour de France

Last year Welcome to Yorkshire won the bid to host one of the world’s greatest and most prestigious cycling races, the Tour de France – Hurrah!

The Tour de France, held annually since 1903, brings together the worlds pro-riders to take part in a spectacular three-week-long tour. Each year the organisers create a new route for the race. The start of the race often begins in a nearby country before returning back to mainland France for the majority of the route.

The Tour de France is the biggest cycling event in the world, with 200 professional cyclists, making up around 20 – 22 teams. The competitors compete to win a classification or lead the race with the lowest aggregate time for the infamous Yellow Jersey and of course the prize money and status.

Originally the Tour de France was held as one long event where cyclists had to ride day and night – a real test of endurance! But today, the Tour de France is held in stages, the first two stages are to be held in Yorkshire.

The first stage begins on the 5th July 2014 at Leeds. From Leeds the cyclists will make their way to Skipton, the gateway to the Dales, before winding their way through the stunning countryside of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and finishing in the spa town of Harrogate.

The First Stage Route

Leeds – Harewood – Otley – Ilkey – Skipton – Threshfield – Kettlewell – Buckden – Aysgarth – Hawes – Thwaite – Muker – Gunnerside – Reeth – Grinton – Leyburn – Ripon – Harrogate.

The second stage held on the 6th July 2014 will leave Harrogate dipping back into the Yorkshire Dales National Park briefly near to Bolton Abbey as they head to the beautiful city of York.

Since this announcement in 2013 the planning for this amazing event has begun and is steadily picking up pace. It is estimated that more than 680,000 spectators will line the route throughout the Yorkshire Dales.

Exciting times ahead for the Yorkshire Dales National Park – we can’t wait!