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Stage 1 Preview

July 2, 2014
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SATURDAY, JULY 5TH – STAGE 1 – 190.5km

Leeds / Harrogate 

Tour de France Says:

The Tour de France will kick off with a road stage instead of a prologue, like in 2013, when its Corsican adventure started with Marcel Kittel pulling on the yellow jersey everyone expected to see on Mark Cavendish’s back. The British sprinter is already plotting revenge. First of all, because the Grand Start will take place in Great Britain, on his home turf and in front of his home crowds. Second, because the stage finishes a stone’s throw away from where his mother used to live. And finally, because pulling on the fabled jersey for the first time would fit in nicely with his numerous accomplishments. I think he is the odds-on favorite to take this stage with gorgeous landscapes and pancake-flat roads in the final 60 kilometers.

Intermediate sprint Leeds / Harrogate 190.5KM

  • Km 77.0 – NEWBIGGIN

Last km Leeds / Harrogate 190.5KM

Start: Leeds

Leeds was an important stronghold of the textile industry. After the wool that was woven there, the fabric of the Yellow Jersey will mobilize the attention of the riders. Until now, the sports fanatics would mainly be stirred by the white and blue colors of Leeds United, Premiere league champions back in 1992 thanks to the help of Monsieur Eric Cantona. Well before that, the city was the birth place of one of the pioneers of women’s cycling: back in the sixties, Beryl Burton indeed claimed seven World titles (track and road).

Stage town for the 1st time

Major city in West Yorkshire

Population : 751,500 inhabitants

Economy : very diverse, it generates more than œ50 billion a year (60 billion euros) and employs 1.4 million people. Leeds is the main centre for fi nancial and business affairs in the North of England and the principal legal centre

outside of London. Its manufacturing sector is the third largest in the country. More than 60,000 students attend its three universities

Culture : Kirstall Abbey ruins (XII century), Harewood House (XVII century), Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle, Northern Ballet, Opera North. Festivals: Leeds Festival (rock music), Leeds International Film Festival

Sport : Leeds Rhinos (rugby), Leeds United (football), Yorkshire County Cricket Club. Leeds is also the area with the most Olympic medallists (Nicola Adams, boxing, Elizabeth Armitstead, cycling, Alistair et Jonathan Brownlee, triathlon)

Specialities : tea cake, ginger cake Sustainable Development: improvements in cycling facilities and the creation of a 23 km cycle ‘superhighway’ between East Leeds and Bradford

Label : Yorkshire’s 21st century Capital

Proverb : Pro Rege et Lege (For King and the Law)

Finish: Harrogate

A newcomer on the map of the race, Harrogate can consider itself as indirectly tied to the Tour. The town is indeed linked to BagnŠres-de-Luchon, one of the most visited cities of the Pyrenees? since 1910. Like its distant associate, Harrogate owes its development to the thermal industry. It also has experience in terms of cycling as a regular stage city of the Milk Race, the forerunner of the Tour of Britain. Before becoming an impressive stage winner on the Tour de France, Djamolidine Abdoujaparov had triumphed in Harrogate during the 1986 edition.

Stage town for the 1st time

Major town in North Yorkshire

Population : 73,000 inhabitants

Economy : A quarter of the economy comes from tourism that brings in every year half a billion pounds (600 million euros) and employs 23,000 people. It is the principal spa town in the United Kingdom. Its other main sectors are financial services, industry, public administration, education and health. Harrogate International Centre injects œ150 million (180 million euros) into the local economy thanks to the conferences and exhibitions it holds; it has indirectly enabled the creation of 3,000 jobs in the hotel and restaurant industries, business and transport

Culture : Harlow Carr Gardens. Festivals: Great Yorkshire Show, Harrogate International Festival, Harrogate Crime Writing Festival, Harrogate History Festival

Sport : Harrogate Town FC (football), Harrogate RUFC (rugby)

Specialities : Tea from Taylors of Harrogate Sustainable Development: œ1.6 million (1.9 million euros) has been dedicated to the enhancement of sustainable transport in order to improve cycling and pedestrian infrastructure

Label : spa town


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