With the Tour de France rolling into town in less than seven weeks, where will you be watching it from? Max Davies, who owns Harrogate-based chauffer company, Oakdale Chauffeur, looks at the best places to watch Stages 1 and 2.
“The world’s largest annual sporting event is coming to Yorkshire! The Tour de France.
Yorkshire is hosting the largest annual sporting event in its very own backyard.
We will see hundreds of thousands of people visiting our beloved county in the beginning of July.
Yorkshire’s rolling grassy hills and quiet idyllic villages will be packed to bursting point with visitors from all over the world, trying to catch a glimpse of the world renowned cycling race whizzing past them on the side of many a grassy verge.
Preparations are already in place for this amazing sporting event with roads being re-surfaced and altered.
Trees and grass verges are being chopped and maintained and banners and bikes have been put up all along the route to show the world that Yorkshire is truly behind the Tour de France.
Road closures are in place (http://northyorks.gov.uk/article/28353/Tour-de-France-Grand-Dpart-2014) and disruptions will be happening all over Yorkshire making the process of picking the right spot and place to stay in Yorkshire crucial.
The key to watching the Tour de France will be to book early.
You will need to pre-plan and book all your travel arrangements beforehand with addition to where you are staying (be it a 5 star hotel or camping). Leeds Bradford Airport are expecting large numbers passing through their gates.
In 2013 the airport had an increase of travellers by 11 per cent, with many predicting 2014 to be a record year.
You will need to plan your Leeds Bradford airport transfer to get you to your destination before certain roads are closed around Yorkshire.
Where to watch the race:
Addingham – This small pretty village outside Ilkley is graced with the presence of the Tour de France for both stages (the Leeds to Harrogate route on 5 July and York to Sheffield on 6 July).
A superb place to watch the race on two separate days, it must be considered that the Addingham bypass will be closed and used as a public car park over the race weekend, so don’t make the mistake of trying to use that road!
Harrogate – Another place that is fortunate to see two stages fly through the Town.
This Spa Town will get to see a sprint finish on 5 July along the Stray, as well as the riders passing through on their way out to the A59.
Butterubs Pass – This has to be one of the best spots to watch the race fly by. There will be thousands of visitors lining the road banks to watch the sweeping climb to the lovely Swaledale.
Grinton – Here will be an ideal spot to watch the race on the 5 July.
A prime position, you will see the riders race through the Dales with a great hill leading out of the Town, excellent to capture the full race.
Cragg Vale – This is going to be one of the most gruelling parts of the stage for the riders, being England’s longest continuing gradient rising 968ft over five and a half miles.
This will be a great spot to sit and cheer the riders on as they will need all the support from the crowd as they ascend this stretch.
Holme Moss – Better known for the TV program Last of The Summer Wine than a stage in the Tour de France.
This intensive three mile hill ride will see the strongest riders pull through as the crowd get behind them on 6 July.
Jenkin Road – This Sheffield road won’t have the beauty of the Yorkshire Dales, but it’s poised to have some of the best action on the 6 July.
This stretch has an 875 yard long street with a 33 per cent gradient and is situated only a few miles from the finish line.
Expect riders to be out of their saddles and sprinting to glory in this section.
Remember plan early to get a good spot for the Tour de France!”