Yorkshire’s Festival of Cycling announced for 2014 Grand Départ

Yorkshire’s Festival of Cycling, a new cycling festival to be held during next year’s Tour de France Grand Départ, will offer guided rides to give fans the chance to watch the first two stages of the race from the best vantage points.

The three-day festival promises to be “a celebration of all things two wheeled” as the Tour returns to the UK for the first time since 2007.

Tour de France race director Christian Prudhomme said: “We just can’t wait to come to Yorkshire for the Grand Départ in 2014.

“It’s a spectacular region and we hope that fans will come from all over and experience it first hand. With beautiful venues like Harewood House, there will be some incredible places to watch and some great ways to get involved.”

Yorkshire’s Festival of Cycling will also give cycling fans the chance to see the Tour de France as it passes through the grounds of Harewood House on stage one (Saturday July 5) from Leeds to Harrogate. Visitors can also enjoy the race on big screens.

A sportive, plus a women-only Cycletta ride and kids’ events will also run alongside the festival, organised by Human Race, the team behind the Dragon Ride and Etape Cymru, and giving riders the chance to follow the same roads as those used by the Tour.

Yorkshire’s Festival of Cycling will take place in the grounds of Harewood House

Human Race CEO Nick Rusling said: “There’s no better way to enjoy the Tour weekend in Yorkshire than to get on your bike and participate. With events for everyone on offer, there will be something to choose from no matter what your age or level of experience.”

The festival will also host a cycling expo with “major and emerging cycling and outdoor brands represented”. Camping and glamping will be available in the grounds of Harewood House and safe bicycle storage will also be provided. Harewood House will also be home to VIP hospitality.

Lord Harewood (left), whose grounds will host Yorkshire’s Festival of Cycling, and Tour de France race director Christian Prudhomme (right)

Christopher Newton, director of Festival of Cycling, added:“The Festival of Cycling will be the hub for the Tour in Yorkshire and the perfect way to witness the race’s unrivaled atmosphere.

“But it’s not just about watching; our visitors can participate in many different events throughout the weekend – all made easy by on-site camping in the magnificent Harewood grounds.”

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