Pictures from Buttertubs Tour de France -TdF. Buttertubs Tour de France photos The Tour de France (TdF) finally got underway from Leeds on Saturday 5 July 2014. The race started off from Leeds at 11 am and visited Harewood House, Otley, Ilkley and Skipton before making its way on to the scenic lanes of the Yorkshire Dales. The race did the first big climb of day just outside of Buckden with the ‘Cote de Cray’ the first of the categorised climbs of the 2015 Tour de France (the first points of the ‘King of the Mountains’ – Poker dot jersey). The race then meandered its way via Aysgarth and Bainbridge before reaching the pretty small town of Hawes which nestles at the foot of the Buttertubs pass.
Jens Voigt leading the pack up Buttertubs Pass in the Tour de France 2014
Buttertubs is one of the great cycle challenges of the Yorkshire Dales, it is just 4.4km in length, but its steep ramps and great views of the Yorkshire Dales makes it one of the locals favourite climbs. Thousands of people turned out to watch ‘Le Tour’ riders tackle the climb. The road rises up from Hawes and passes over the pass before a very fast descent to the typically named Yorkshire village of Muker. The climb has a maximum 20 per cent gradient just about the cattle grid half way up the hill. It is estimated up 60,000 spectators may turn out to see the climb.
The first pictures from the Le Tour De France taken at the opening ceremony of the Tour de France 2015can be found by clicking on this link to the gallery on racing snakes website. GRAND DÉPART. The images were captured on Thursday 3rd July as Le Tour De France riders made their way through the streets of Leeds from Leeds university to the Leeds Arena before the celebration and team presentation to the crowds at the Leeds Arena. The riders were joined by local club riders to set off for the short ride from Leeds University to the Leeds Arena. The riders set off just after 6pm before making their way to the Millennium Square in Leeds with big crowds expected for the first glimpses of the riders.The first pictures were taken as the riders arrived at the university followed by more photos of the riders as they entered the Millenium square in Leeds City, West Yorkshire.
The biggest cheer of the night will surely be reserved for Team Sky being headed by Chris Froome, team Sky are the favourites to win Le Tour de France with Froome being heavily backed for finishing the race in the yellow jersey. Another favourite of the crowds will be sprinter Mark Cavendish who is one of the favourites to win stage one on Saturday, Mark Cavendish has links to the local area and will be well supported by the Yorkshire crowds.
First pictures of Team Sky as they cycled to the presentation evening
Le GRAND DÉPART
Le Grand Depart starts for real on Saturday 5th July when the riders of Le Tour will set off from outside the Leeds Town Hall on their way to the first days race finish in Harrogate. The route takes them to some lovely Yorkshire Dales Towns of Otley, Ilkley, Skipton, Aysgarth, Hawes, Reeth, Knaresborough before finishing in Harrogate. Over one million spectators are excepted to be on the course on Saturday 5th July.
Team Quickstep which includes Mark Cavendish the favourite for the stage one win of the Tour de France 2015
The riders stay in Yorkshire for the second stage, although they do cross from North Yorkshire to West Yorkshire before finishing in South Yorkshire. This is a tough stage which although doesnt have any alpine climbs in is undulating to say the least. The riders will tackle a number of not too short climbs including Holme Moss (the biggest climb of the day) which will attract big crowds and much excitement. The race continues to finish in Sheffield on day two.
All pictures copyright of Mick Kenyon (racingsnakes.com)
The Etape du Dales is a gruelling 112mile cycling sportive that set off from Threshfield (Grassington) in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The route climbs over a number of significant hills inluding Fleet Moss, Buttertubs, Tan House Hill, Coal Road and Dale Head. The total amount of climbing (and descent) is 9170 feet (2795 meters).
The first 10 miles of the route follows the Tour De France (Le Grand Depart) stage 1 from Threshfield to Buckden. The route then peels off to do the brutal but beautiful climb over Fleet Moss at about 18 miles into the route, there is then a long before descent into the small Dales town of Hawes. When in Hawes the Etape du Dales rejoins the Tour de France stage 1 route to ascend the Buttertubs pass at about 25 miles into the route. The Buttertubs Pass has an official category 3 rating for the Tour De France and is a popular climb with cyclists trying to gain the King of the Mountains on the Strava app. The route continues into Swaledale before leaving the TdF route before it reaches Reeth at Low Row. The Etape du Dales then heads off to climb the Tan House Hill but first there is the climb over to Arkengarthdale. Tan house hill is at about 46 miles into the route. Before starting its homeward leg. At 70 miles the Old Coal Road is a hard climb with all those miles in the legs, it passes Dent Station the highest mainline railway station in the UK before descending into the pretty vally bottom. The Etape du Dales continues along the vally gently climbing at first before another big climb from Stonehouse towards Newby Head. A descent is then enjoyed to iconic Ribblehead viaduct and continues to Stainforth before the final big hill of the day climbing to Dalehead at aproximately 90 miles.
The route of Etape du Dales is a cycling sportive challenge and is not officially a race (however the fastest time for completing the route is just a little over 5 hours and 43 mins).
The ride is organised by the Dave Raynor Fund. The Dave Rayner Fund was set up in his memory on 12 January 1995, to help riders make a career from racing on the continent. (Wikipedia)