The first serious hurdle of the day is the 424 meter high Kidstones, crested after 85 kilometres. The climb is only 2.9 kilometres in length and has an average gradient of 6.3%. The steepest part of 16% is just under the top. Upon cresting it is 30 kilometres to the top of the next hill.
The Buttertubs Pass is 526 meter above sea level. It’s a road in the Yorkshire Dales, an upland area dissected by numerous valleys – you could say it’s a typical English country road, meandering through the endless green hills. Left and right are 20 meter deep limestone potholes called Buttertubs. Strange name? It originates from times long gone, when local farmers went to the market and during hot summer days they used the potholes as refrigerators every now and then by lowering their produced butter into them to keep it from melting.
Robin Cross Hill
The top of the Robin Cross Hill is reached 30 kilometres after the Buttertubs pass. This hill has also a typically British surrounding. The climb has the same length as the Buttertubs Pass, but is less steep, only 5.2%. At the top it is 46 kilometers to the finish.
Mark Cavendish – not the best climber in the world – is keen on winning stage 1 in the 2014 Tour de France. Good news for ‘Cav’, the hills in today’s stage are not thougher than the ones in the 2009 Milan-San Remo, the spring classic he won that year.
The last two kilometres are not completely flat, the average gradient is about 2%, and the last 500 meters are 4%. Not steep but it gives the stage a nice finishing touch.
Tour de France 2014 Stage 1: Images and more
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How stage 1 was won in 2014
Buttertubs Pass at
Kidstones Bank at
How stage 1 was won in 2013