The 2014 Grand Départe started in Leeds, Yorkshire. British cyclists were proud to start the 2014 Tour de France close to home! [Want to see more? Click Here for a photographic history of the tour]
According to the official tour website, Mark Cavendish said, ‘I’m super excited about the first stage coming to Harrogate, my mother’s hometown. I still have a lot of family there and it gives me an opportunity to wear the yellow jersey in front of my fans, so to dream of that is a big thing.’
Chris Froome stated, ‘For me it feels like a real privilege to have the Tour coming to the UK and going there as defending champion.’
The Grand Départe’s first stage went from Leeds to Harrogate on a 190 km route. The 200 cyclists in the tour rode through the Yorkshire city center and into the beautiful countryside. They passed the Harewood House, which was home to the Lascelles Family for over 250 years. Then, the route got hilly as it ran through Yorkshire Dales National Park.
The second stage ran from York to Sheffield on a 200 km route. The cyclists biked through the walled city, starting at Clifford’s Tower. They then headed back through Harrogate on to Haworth, home of the Bronte sisters. They endured many steep sections during on the route to Holme Moss and finished in Sheffield.