05/03/2014
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Where to camp for the Tour de Yorkshire

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This year's Grand Depart, dubbed Le Tour Yorkshire takes place in Leeds, on 5 and 6 July. It will see the town of Reeth crowned as it’s most northerly point ever. We'll try to advise on suitable parking – but remember – Le Tour is a massive operation so spaces are limited and the early bird gets the worm!

It's actually the fourth UK visit of Le Tour de France – a lacklustre one-day visit to Plymouth in 1974 was followed by two-day visits in 1994 and 2007 to southern England, which were enthusiastically received – and with two British winners in as many years, Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome, the UK appetite for this great cycling event continues to grow.

So with optimism running high, here's a run-down of the best places to camp and watch the racing this year, along with some handy hints to get the most from your trip.

TOP TIPS

  • Ensure you clear the road and don’t block farm entrances and the like.
  • Ask police and tour helpers for advice if in doubt.
  • Painting riders’ names on the road may be acceptable in France, but not here.
  • Enterprising farmers may charge to use fields, but make sure the ground is not boggy!

WHERE TO WATCH

Stage 1 is described as flat. In tour parlance, this means compared to the Alps! The Leeds
to Skipton section is all on A-roads with laybys before Otley. Race speeds will be high and parking near the race route may be possible.

On the final 40 miles from Middleham to Harrogate, Mark Cavendish, the ‘Manx Missile’ of team Omega Pharma-Quick Step, is the hot favourite to win in his mother’s birthplace.   

Stage 2 from York to Sheffield will be averaging 30mph so the York to Harrogate section may prove difficult to see much. I reckon the section to Skipton over Blubberhouses Moor will be much better for spectating as it’s very exposed and hilly.

Good parking on Blubberhouses and Oxenhope Moor, near Keighley, will not however protect you from high winds and horizontal rain.

Holmfirth is the starting point for the ascent of the killer climb of Holme Moss, the toughest in the area with little parking at the summit or in Holme village, although a side road to the Digley reservoir may be of use.

Stage 3 is a mostly flat stage from Cambridge to London where the sprinters will battle it out on the Mall and where Cavendish should shine. The race passes through Epping and the 2012 Olympic site for easy access.



Stage 4 and onward take place in France, Belgium and Spain - The April issue of MMM magazine continues with the tour, giving you the low-down on the best positions to watch each stage and the campsites that are best to stay at while you tour the Tour.

To keep up with the latest Tour camping news, click here.

For information on where to camp as the tour reaches contintental Europe, pick up the April issue of MMM here.

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