Over 40,000 spectators are expected to be treated to one of the world’s greatest sporting events as the Tour de France cycle race comes to the Peak District.
Communities have been boosted with millions of pounds worth of funding from authorities to welcome the kaleidoscope of colour which is due to hit the region as the peloton swoops its way from York to Sheffield on Sunday, July 6, during Stage Two of the 21 stage endurance test.
The overall 3,656km race starts in Harrogate, on Saturday, July 5, before Sunday’s 200km, Stage Two which includes the Peak’s 1,719ft high Holme Moss summit, Woodhead Pass and nearby Bradfield, Penistone and Langsett before its last day on British soil on Monday, July 7, with Stage Three from Cambridge to London.
Many are expected to line the roads for free in the Peak District which boasts some of the most beautiful scenery during the race’s first three days in Britain before it crosses The Channel and hits French soil and finishes on the Champs Elysees, on July 27.
Peak District National Park Authority spokesman Jenny Waller said: “The Peak District National Park is a fantastic place to watch the race but we ask people to take extra care to look after this beautiful, protected area.”
One of the Peak highlights will be Holme Moss summit which is one of cycling’s toughest challenges with a long climb over sweeping moorland that carries points for the King of the Mountains’ title within the overall race.
Like many spots on the 18 mile route through the national park, Holme Moss is a spectacular landscape that is protected and renowned for its wildlife, heritage and scenic beauty.
The cyclists enter the national park at Holme village, pass over Holme Moss, down the Woodhead Pass. onto Langsett and through the village of High Bradfield before finishing in Sheffield.
Communities, backed up with grants, including Bradfield, Penistone, Langsett and Holme will go all out to welcome visitors and create a fantastic party atmosphere as the kaleidoscope of cycling teams passes through.
The Department of transport has pumped £5m into the authority’s Pedal Peak District Project to strengthen cycling links with nearby cities with £2.5m coming from Derbyshire County Council and Sheffield and Barnsley councils.
Communities and businesses have been able to apply for grants to boost cycling facilities and as Tour fever hits the Peak District this summer it is expected to bring a massive boost for the Derbyshire economy.
The Park Authority has backed many organised, amateur cycle events so people can enjoy the Peak District from the saddle all summer.
Volunteers, including Charlie last, of Dronfield, will be joining 12,000 Tour Makers who will welcome visitors and serve as flag marshals.
Local authorities have been preparing and have issued warnings about road closures to ensure spectators can watch the race safely and are urging everyone to look after our national park and avoid littering.
Derbyshire County Councillor Andy Botham said: “The eyes of the world will be on Derbyshire and it’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase the county as a top destination for cycling and for local people to be part of such a great event.”
TOURISTS AND RESIDENTS URGED TO PREPARE FOR ROAD CLOSURES
The 200 Tour de France cycle competitors in the 22 teams are expected to arrive in Derbyshire about 3pm, on July 6, for Stage Two, as it crosses into the Peak District at Holme Moss summit and descends along the A6024 and the A628 Woodhead Pass before heading to the finish in Sheffield.
Derbyshire County Councillor Andy Botham said: “The race route in Derbyshire is in a very remote and rugged part of the county and parking nearby won’t be possible. It will be very busy and you are strongly advised to plan your journey well ahead.
“You should arrive early and be prepared for a long walk or to cycle. It will be a long day, so make sure you are dressed appropriately for the weather and take enough food and drink.”
Before the race arrives, a 150-vehicle procession, known as the caravan will pass through about 1pm giving out souvenirs. Spectators are advised to get in position by 12.30pm before crossing points are closed.
Car parking and shuttle services will be limited and spectators are advised if they want to watch the event in the Woodhead area, they should walk or cycle along the Longdendale trail which can be picked up at Hadfield.
Some roads on and around the race route will be closed from 6pm, on Friday, July 4, and others during the early hours of Sunday morning. There will be a one-way system around Glossop.
Road closures will be necessary for race preparations and includes installing barriers, making arrangements for stewards and marshals and allowing for works.
Roads will be signed and stewards will be on hand.
After the race. some roads will remain closed, possibly for several hours, so spectators can leave and for the removal of race infrastructure. Other roads are likely to be subject to phased reopening to minimise congestion.
The main road closures and diversions include:
A6024 Holme Moss Road closed at junction with A628 to Holme Village/Holmfirth (Kirklees), from 6pm, Friday, July 4.
B6105 Woodhead Road closed at junction with Padfield Main Road to A628, from 6pm, Friday, July 4.
A57/A628 from Mottram Moor to Midhopestones (South Yorkshire), closed eastbound from Stalybridge Road, just after midnight, Sunday, July 6.
A628 closed east of junction with Old Road, Tintwistle, just after midnight Sunday, July 6.
A57 closed at Woolley Bridge, from around 2am, Sunday, July 6. This road will reopen eastbound, during the morning, for spectator traffic.
West Drive, West Street, Conduit Street, Tintwistle closed at their junctions with the A628, from around 1am, Sunday, July 6.
New Road Tintwistle, closed at junction with A628, from 1am, Sunday, July 6.
A one-way system will operate south of Glossop town centre along the A6016 Primrose Lane and Turnlee Road and the A624 Charlestown Road, Victoria Street and Norfolk Street up to the junction with Ellison Street, from around 2am, Sunday July 6, until early afternoon.
There will be no direct access into or out of the A57 High Street West (from the east end of Victoria Street junction). Access to High Street West will be maintained from the west end, from Primrose Lane. From the east end access will be via a diversion route along Norfolk Street, Talbot Road, North Road, Fauvel Road and Arundel Street.
Spectator traffic will be able to drive inbound from Glossop along the B6105 before the event and will be turned around at certain points to park in a Glossop bound direction. Spectators can walk or cycle to Woodhead or Holme Moss using the Transpennine Trail. At the close of the event cars will move off in the direction of Glossop.
For more details go to www.letour.yorkshire.com.
YOUNGSTERS CELEBRATE LE TOUR
Dronfield youngsters have joined forces with Polaris bikewear in the town to hold their own Tour ride two days before the pros hit Derbyshire to raise cash for an outdoor classroom.
William Levick Primary School, at Dronfield Woodhouse, is holding a Tour de France Day, on Friday, July 4, and is inviting pupils to take part in a sponsored cycle around an obstacle course.
Schol PTA member Clare Knapton said: “This is a really exciting event for the children and we’ve been lucky to get the support of Polaris as our sponsor.
“Each child will be given a raffle ticket and be in with a chance of winning a prize from Polaris.”
The youngsters will also be enjoying a Tour de France breakfast and will be learning about the event and our European cousins as well as taking part in a design-a-cycling-jersey competition.
The Derbyshire Times would like to hear how any other schools or organisations hope to celebrate Le Tour. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (01246) 504524 with details.
For a list of Peak District National Park approved cycling events visit the website www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/learning-about/forthcomingevents/summer-of-cycling-2014.
DRONFIELD CYCLE FAN MAKES HISTORY AS A TOUR MAKER
A Dronfield cycling fan who has ridden hundreds of miles on charity rides to raise thousands of pounds for worthy causes has been selected to be a volunteer Tour Maker during the Tour de France.
Charlie Last, of The Donfield-based Carpeteer and the Dronfield Chain Gang fundraisers, will be part of a groundbreaking Tour Maker project which is the first of its type in the history of the Tour de France’s Grand Departs.
He said: “This is a great honour and to think that I have watched the Tour on the TV year-after-year and now I will be helping out during the 2014 event and making history is wonderful.”
Charlie will be part of a vital volunteer force that will welcome visitors and help with directions and marshalling.
TOUR CARAVAN AND RACE TIMINGS
The three-week long Tour de France enters the Peak national park on Sunday, July 6, at Holme village, rides over Holme Moss onto the Woodhead Pass, through Langsett and Bradfield to Sheffield.
Below is an approximate guide to the arrival times for the Tour de France caravan convoy and the race as they pass through the Peak.
Holme: Convoy - 1pm, Race 2.45pm.
A628: Convoy - 1.15pm, Race 3pm.
A616: Convoy - 1.45pm, Race 3.20pm.
Bradfield: Convoy - 2pm, Race 3.30pm.
Sheffield: Convoy - 2.45pm, Race 4.15pm.
The three British stages of the 21 stage race include the following approximate convoy and race start times.
Stage 1: Leeds to Harrogate, 190km, July 5, Convoy - 9.10am, Race - 11.10am.
Stage 2: York to Sheffield including Derbyshire, 200km, July 6, Convoy 9am, Race 11am.
Stage 3: Cambridge to London 159km, July 7, Convoy - 10.15am, Race - 12.15pm.
THE STARS TO LOOK OUT FOR
The biggest question spectators will want answered is whether current Tour de France title holder and British rider Chris Froome, of the Sky team, can defend his title.
He has so far shown good form but has not been as impressive as he was during his preparations for the 2013 winning Tour.
His nearest rival is likely to be Vincenzo Nibali, of Astana, who won the 2013 Giro d’Italia.
For excitement and stage wins, all eyes will be on British sprinter Mark Cavendish, of Omega Pharma-Quick Step, Marcel Kittel, of Giant, and all-rounders Fabian Cancellara, of Trek Factory and Peter Sagan, of Cannondale.
Up for grabs, during the 21 stage, 3,656km race which starts on July 5 and finishes on July 27, will be the Overall winner’s yellow jersey, the best Sprinter’s green jersey, the best climber’s King of the Mountain’s jersey and the white jersey for the Best Young Rider.