Great Britain has been responsible for the past two Tour de France winners, and the excitement is building in the United Kingdom as it prepares to welcome the opening stages of cycling’s most famous event this summer. In July, the world’s largest annual sporting event will arrive in Yorkshire for the opening two stages of this year’s race, running from Leeds through the Yorkshire Dales and ending up in Sheffield.
Whilst the riders will be battling for position in the race, there’ll be another competition going on away from the track as fans clamber over the famous dry-stone walls that run vein-like through the Yorkshire Dales looking for the best views possible of the famous event. Here are some of the best spots where visitors will be able to witness the famous race from as close as is possible.
Addingham: A delightful village just outside Ilkley, finds itself in the middle of both the opening stages of the race (Leeds to Harrogate on July 5 and York to Sheffield on July 6) and will offer fans a chance to watch the peloton pass through the village twice in two days.
Harrogate: Visitors to this picturesque Yorkshire town will also be lucky enough to get to see the peloton twice in two days. And as well as the race, the town also offers visitors a chance to spend time in one of the region’s most popular attractions.
Buttertubs Pass: This part of the Dales has established itself as one of Yorkshire’s most popular areas with cyclists – with a sweeping, testing climb through beautiful Swaledale, and this will be an ideal place to watch this year’s race.
Cragg Vale: Boasting the longest continuous gradient in England, rising 968ft over five and a half miles, this will be an intriguing part of the opening stages of this year’s Tour. Visitors would also do well to pack for all conditions – with the weather at the top of the Dales often prone to sudden change!