Tour de France 2014 Route stage 1: Leeds (GB) - Harrogate (GB)

Tour de France 2014 stage 1 YorkshireSaturday, July 5th - The 101st Tour de France kicks off in the Yorkshire city of Leeds. The stage ends in Harrogate after travelling 190 kilometres. Similar to 2013, a sprinter has the chance to hold the first yellow jersey with the whole UK hoping that the 'Manx Missile' will be that man. (Slideshow route/profile)

The Yorkshire city of Leeds has a population of 500,000, making it the third largest in England. It used to be a major player in the wool-industry, nowadays they take pride in their University.

Leeds is twinned with the town of Lille in the north of France. In three days time, the first stage on the continent will finish in Lille.

Route of the stage

As the crow flies,  Leeds and Harrogate are not that far apart. The peloton rides a 190 kilometre loop of Yorkshire however before they arrive at the finish line, . The stage is mainly flat but with two exceptions, the first being Buttertubs Pass, a 4.4 kilometre hill with a small section of 20%.

After the Buttertubs Pass riders descend to the hamlets of Reeth and Grinton, and then they face a long climb up to Robin Cross Hill. Again, this ascent is 4.4 kilometres and the steepest part is 17%.

But not to worry Mr Kittel and Mr Cavendish, upon cresting Robin Cross Hill, there are 46 kilometres to organise your sprint trains.

Harrogate is a small city with a population of 90,000. It has a booming tourism industry due the  iron, sulphur and salt  in the spring water earning it the nickname  ‘The English Spa’.

It is a popular commuter-town, many people working in Leeds and Bradford live in Harrogate. A March 2013 study even revealed that Harrogate is the ‘happiest place’ in England.

And the happiest rider? Well, the stage win comes with a significant bonus of a yellow jersey. Kittel took those honours last year after ‘bus-gate’ caused pandemonium on the opening stage. Greipel will be in the mix too but surely Cavendish will be hungriest for a stage win in his homeland?

The stage begins at 13:00 CET and the finish is expected around 17:30.

Tour de France 2014 Stage 1: Images and more

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1 comment(s)

  • David Wells says:

    Having been a bike race fan since having my first bike in 1944 I am really looking forward to the coming weekend and following three weeks. In the past I have followed le Tour all over France, driving 3000 Km during the three weeks but this year I will be glued to the TV so as not to miss a pedal stroke. I am a bit worried about Cav. Will he be fit enough after being out of competitive racing for the past month with illness. I hope that he will be OK and manage to pip Kittel on stage1.
    The Sky team have great hopes but I am, not sure that they are in such good shape as last year, OK they did well in the Nationals but there was not much competition there. Contador is the man on form even though his team is not quite so organised as Sky.. I wish all the riders the best of luck and will be cheering them all the way.

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