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.Posted 19/05/14

Yorkshire to offer a traditional welcome to 'God's own county'.

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It is official: The world's greatest cycle race - the Tour de France - will start in Yorkshire on 5th & 6th July 2014. 

The Tour de France cycle race is the largest annual sporting event in the world.  It was established in 1903.

The race takes place over three weeks and a distance of 3500km (2200 miles), with 22 teams of nine riders competing for the winner's yellow jersey. Twelve million spectators of all ages line the route to support the cyclists.
The Tour involves 200 of the world's best cyclists competing in the sport's biggest race.

The Grand Depart in Yorkshire will be visually stunning and technically challenging and the third stage from the cycling city of Cambridge to the historic heart of London will provide a fitting finale. With the recent success of British riders, notably Bradley Wiggins becoming the first Briton to win 'Le Tour' in 2012 shortly followed by a gold medal time trial performance in London, the popularity of cycling has never ridersbeen higher.
This influx of visitors will bring significant economic benefits to Yorkshire and the global TV audience will enhance the perception of the county internationally. A conservative estimate suggests that hosting the race will bring £100m to Yorkshire. It is also a fantastic opportunity for Yorkshire residents to watch the third largest sporting event in the world.

The Tour itself normally takes an entourage of around 8,000 to 10,000 including officials, media and support teams and attracts millions of spectators and a TV audience of 3.5 billion.
Race organisers, cyclists, their back-up staff and the Tour entourage will require 5,000 hotel rooms.

An important part of the event is the Tour's caravan. The Caravan is a terrific spectacle and a great family attraction. A procession of elaborate floats and vehicles precedes the racing action, 180 in all distributing 15 million items to fans at the roadside across the 3 weeks of the Tour. It is a great way to catch yourself a souvenir of  Le Tour Yorkshire.

Stage one: 190km: Leeds – Harewood – Otley – Ilkley – Skipton – Kettlewell – Aysgarth – Hawes – Reeth – Leyburn – Ripon – Harrogate.

yorkshire dales The opening stage of the 101st edition of the Tour will get underway on Saturday July 5 in front of Leeds Town Hall before travelling 190-kilometres towards Harrogate.
Along the route riders will cross the Yorkshire Dales National Park in the Pennines before reaching Harrogate.
From the steps of the town hall the riders will head northwest out of the city centre and into the Yorkshire countryside. They will pass Harewood House, one of the Treasure Houses of England and home of the Lascelles family for over 250 years, before they head to Skipton, gateway to the spectacular Yorkshire Dales National Park.
Up to this point the route is fairly flat but once they enter the iconic Yorkshire Dales the terrain gets steeper as the riders race a semi-circular route across the contours of the valleys. They leave at the north east edge of the National Park sweeping southeast through Leyburn and the cathedral city of Ripon, rejoining the flat roads to the pretty spa town of Harrogate.
It is here at the end of a long straight line finish that we will discover who will be the first rider to wear the famous yellow jersey of the 2014 Tour de France.

Stage two: 200km: York – Knaresborough – Silsden – Keighley – Haworth – Hebden Bridge – Elland – Huddersfield – Holmfirth – Sheffield.


Cycling through 19 miles of the Peak District National Parkthe race enters the national park at Holme village, rides over Holme Moss – the Peak District's greatest cycling hill-climb, past the highest radio and TV transmitter in the country at 524m (1719ft), onto the Woodhead Pass through Langsett and Bradfield to Sheffield.

After starting at Clifford's Tower the peloton will head west passing through Harrogate once again before turning south and heading to Huddersfield via Haworth, home of literary sisters, the Brontës. From here the cyclists will be able to stretch their legs on a number of steep sections before they arrive at the gateway to another National Park, the Peak District, on the edge of the

The slopes start to get steeper here especially the stretch leading to Holme Moss, renowned as one of the toughest climbs in the whole of Great Britain.

A number of people have been looking for yellow flowers to plant up their baskets and containers as they prepare for the arrival of Le Tour de France in Yorkshire.

Pansies are, of course, a firm favourite, along with calendulas, French and African Marigolds, trailing Bidens and Lysimachia.

Old bicycles painted yellow are now starting to appear on village greens and in front gardens and pubs as unofficial tokens of support for this major sporting event. 

Entering Barnsley from the A6024 Woodhead and Peak District area, the peloton will ride past Salter's Brook Bridge, over the Flouch roundabout, through Langsett on the A616, and leaves the Barnsley borough at Midhopestones, travelling on to Sheffield, where the stage will finish.

There are still a few hills to cross before the cyclists arrive in the UK's first city of sport Sheffield.

The last hill climb of the day is less than five kilometres from the finish in the northeast of the city next to the Don Valley Stadium.

Stage three: 159km: Cambridge – Epping Forest – the Olympic Park – the

After spending two days in Yorkshire the world's biggest bike race returns to London after a seven-year wait.

The route appears to favour the sprinters which will finish in front of Buckingham Palace after speeding past many of the capital's landmarks such as Tower Bridge, Tower of London, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey.

Some 12,000 people have signed up as 'tour makers' to help ensure the start to this year's race passes off smoothly. The Tour de France may be celebrating all things Yorkshire this year - but not necessarily the way true Tykes speak, for the thousands of volunteers recruited to help make the event a success have been told to avoid traditional northern greetings like “love”.

Organisers of July’s Grand Depart in Yorkshire insist the last thing they want to do is tone down the region’s identity or dialect. However, an on-line training video for the volunteers advises people to be confident and naturally friendly but adds: “Avoid using words such as ‘mate’, ‘love’ or ‘darling’ – they may sound friendly to you, but they could offend some people” and that has proved enough to offend many Yorkshire folk who say such terms are traditional local words of endearment.

Among those up in arms is diehard Yorkshireman, broadcaster, journalist and author, Sir Michael Parkinson. CBE. “It’s what make us people in Yorkshire special. We are known throughout the world for that expression because it shows how friendly we are.” said Barnsley born and bred Parkinson.“It could never be mistaken for an insult. I have never had any problem with it and I have used it all over the globe.” 

'Ey up love, welcome ter Yorkshire, God's own county.  Wee'ar reyt pleased thar 'eear fer’t tour de france, duck.  
Does tha need enny 'elp?"

What could be warmer than a Yorkshire welcome?

It seems the organisers of the Tour de France agree, chastising the Yorkshire tourist board for suggesting that volunteers avoid calling visitors 'pet' or 'love'. Organisers of the Tour de France's visit to Yorkshire have insisted the last thing they want to do is tone down the county's identity.

…............… so, in the meantime, for those thinking of coming to Yorkshire, here’s a little more help.

  • Put wood in t ‘ole.  Translation: Would you close the door please.
  • Fair t’ middlin’.  Translation: I am fine, thank you.
  • More brass na brains. Translation: More money than sense.
  • Ah’ll go tut foot of our stairs. Translation: I am amazed.
  • Ah’m reet flummoxed. Translation: I am a little confused.

One thing is for certain the people of Yorkshire will always offer all visitors their traditional welcome to “God’s own county”.

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