Excitement at ‘Dale’s Le Tour route plans

Le Tour Yorkshire - the Grand Depart is coming to Yorkshire in 2014 (S)
Le Tour Yorkshire - the Grand Depart is coming to Yorkshire in 2014 (S)

Excitement is rising in Nidderdale at the news the world famous Tour de France is to pass through the area in 2014.

The route of Le Grand Depart comes close to Nidderdale and Pateley Bridge on two successive days in July 2014, bringing 200 Tour riders along with thousands of support staff, fans and journalists to the dale.

On day one – Saturday, July 5 – the race travels through Otley, Ilkley and Skipton, north to Aysgarth and Reeth, then turns south through Masham, Ripon, Ripley and Killnghall before a sprint finish in Harrogate town centre.

The following day the race comes back from York through Knaresborough and Killinghall, and along the A59 to Blubberhouses close to Hampsthwaite, Birtswith, Fettiscliffe and Kettlesing.

David Collett, Chairman of Hampsthwaite Parish Council, spoke of the village’s excitement to be hosting the world famous race.

He said: “I am sure everyone is delighted. We are really excited, and it is great news for the village.

“I expect there will be a good turn out of people watchingit as it goes past.”

Across the area business owners are hoping for bumper trade when he race and its massive entourage arrive in Yorkshire.

Norma Scott owns Prospect House B&B in Pateley Bridge.

She said: “I am hoping we will get a lot of enquiries. I am sure we will – we get an awful lot of cyclists staying here as they ride the Way of the Roses.

“My husband used to be a keen cyclist, so we will definitely be going to watch. Once I’ve got breakfast out of the way I’ll be there!”

And excitement in rising at Summerbridge’s Stif Cycles.

The shop’s Managing Director Paul Morphet said:

“The Tour de France coming to North Yorkshire is a golden opportunity for everyone to see the world’s top riders in some of the best cycling terrain in the country.

“The finish of the first stage in Harrogate will be something special and an unmissable and exciting finale to a spectacular stage.

“The atmosphere at these stage finishes is electrifying and this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see one on our own doorstep.”