The best places to watch the Tour de France
Updated 3:46pm Thursday 3rd July 2014 in News
The best places to see the Tour de France depends on why you want to watch the Tour.
In general if you are along the roadside, try and get a spot where you can see as much of the route as possible and follow the advice of the Tourmakers and safety stewards, all of whom will wear uniforms.
Top cyclists including Britain's Chris Froome have made repeated Internet broadcasts urging spectators not to spoil the race.
Don't push riders uphill - it actually hinders rather than helps them.
Don't get too close - riders have fallen because spectators have accidentally knocked into them.
If taking pictures, don't step into the road for a better picture - riders might crash into you.
Keep dogs on a lead.
Children can get very excited and run into the road - keep a close eye on yours.
Good places to watch the tour in York and North Yorkshire
Saturday July 5
1) The climbs of Buttertubs Pass above Hawes and Grinton Moor between Reeth in Swaledale and Leyburn in Wensleydale are good to see the riders close up, and there is a chance of seeing attacks. The descents will be full of thrills - make sure you stay out of their way because the cyclists will be going very fast. Beware - the roads will be closed early and the climbs will be very popular.
2) Anywhere along the A6108 between Masham and Harrogate - good for watching the main bunch or peloton trying to catch a breakaway group so the sprinters can duke it out in a mass sprint for the stage win in Harrogate.
3) Harrogate Stray - likely to be very busy and is expected to see the entire peloton cross the line together at 60 kph. Will include the presentation of the first jerseys to the stage winner and the best climber of the day.
Sunday July 6
1) Anywhere in the "neutral zone" between York Racecourse and the Outer Ring Road. The riders won't start to race in York so they will be going slowly. On the narrower roads they will be strung out - good for seeing the riders close up and to sample the atmosphere.
2) Villages on the A59 between York and Knaresborough. Likely to be less busy than York, so you have a better chance of grabbing goodies from the publicity caravan. The riders will be going very fast and there are likely to be several attacks.
Cycling connoisseurs say the first hour of each day can be the most interesting with continuous attacks as riders try to form a breakaway group and the rest try to catch them. At some stage some riders will succeed and the bunch will calm down and start going at a more relaxed pace before the hills later in the day.
The main action will be in West and South Yorkshire.
Days One and Two
The spectator hubs at The Designer Outlet, Huntington Stadium and Rowntree Park in York, Knaresborough Castle, Ripon Market Square and Leyburn will all have big screens so you can follow the action all day, as well as other entertainment and refreshment facilities. But you will not see the riders close up.
- Who to watch out for this weekend>>
- Stage 1 route map - Leeds to Harrogate>>
- Stage 2 route map - York to Sheffield>>
Where and when to watch the Grand Depart
Stage One – Saturday, July 5
Starts on Headrow in Leeds - 11.10am
Otley Town Centre – 12.12pm
Skipton High Street – 12.49pm
Aysgarth – 1.58pm
Buttertubs Pass, near Hawes – 2.29pm
Leyburn Market Place – 3.16pm
Masham – 3.41pm
Ripon – 4.01pm
Finishes on Harrogate Stray – 4.32pm
Stage Two – Sunday, July
Starts at York Racecourse – 11am
York City Centre – 11.15am
Knaresborough town centre – 11.52am
Blubberhouses – 12.32pm
Keighley Victoria Park – 1.05pm
Haworth Town Centre – 1.16pm
Hebden Bridge – 1.40pm
Cragg Vale – 1.48pm
Huddersfield Town Centre – 2.27pm
Holmfirth – 2.48pm
Holme Moss – 3pm
Finishes in Sheffield, near Don Valley Stadium – 4.29pm
Note: All times approximate, based on organisers’ estimates of the peloton’s average speed.