In December 2012 it was announced that the historic county of Yorkshire would host the “Grand Depart” of the Tour de France cycle race in 2014.
Starting out from Leeds the first stage of the route chosen for this prestigious event takes in the Yorkshire Dales, running through Ilkley and Skipton then up Wharfedale, over Kidstones Pass and on to Wensleydale then up and over Buttertubs Pass and through Swaledale to Richmond and down along the eastern edge of the Yorkshire Dales through Masham and Ripon to end the day in Harrogate.
The second day of the event sees the cyclists setting off from the historic City of York and then passing through Harrogate and on to Addingham. From here the route enters the Bronte Country of the West Yorkshire Pennines, taking in Keighley, Haworth (famous for its associations with the Brontes), Oxenhope and Hebden Bridge and then on to Holmfirth (setting of TV’s “Last of the Summer Wine”) before undertaking a very steep climb up to Holme Moss and then descending in to Longdendale in the Peak District. From here the route turns east and runs on to Sheffield at the end of another extremely challenging day.
For the third day the depart stage of the event moves down south to Cambridge and on to London before hopping over the channel for the rest of the race in France.