We're days away from one of the biggest sporting events in the world arriving on our doorstep - the Tour de France 2014.
Here's the answers to 10 frequently asked questions about the Tour de France
WHEN AND WHERE IS THE TOUR DE FRANCE?
In 2014 the Tour de France will be in the UK for 3 stages. The Yorkshire Grand Départ comprises two stages - Leeds to Harrogate on July 5 and York to Sheffield on July 6, followed by Cambridge to London on July 7.
WHY IS IT IN THE UK?
The Tour de France has a massive global following, and is especially popular in neighbouring countries. For this reason, the race regularly starts outside France and visited the UK in 2007, with a time trial stage in central London and a stage from London to Canterbury.
WHAT WILL I SEE IF I COME TO WATCH THE TOUR DE FRANCE?
It is expected that over two million spectators will line the route when the Tour comes to the UK this summer.
First you’ll see the Race Caravan, a procession of elaborate floats and vehicles that precedes the racing action. The 180 vehicles distribute promotional items to fans at the roadside. This will be followed by the race itself. The main group of riders is known as the peloton.
Click below for pictures of the caravan from a previous Tour
WHAT IS THE ROUTE?
The Tour will start its three-day visit to Britain on Saturday, July 5, with a 120-mile leg from Leeds to Harrogate via the Yorkshire Dales National Park. For people in Calderdale and Huddersfield, the big day is Sunday, July 6, with a 201-km from York to Sheffield. The riders enter Calderdale at Hebden Bridge and go through Mytholmroyd, Ripponden, Greetland and Elland.
WHICH ROADS WILL CLOSE AND WHEN?
Full road closures will be in operation whilst the race takes place and a full list of those affected areas are elsewhere in this supplement. There will be road closures for non-emergency vehicles at start and finish towns, especially near the start/finish lines. These closures will last longer than at other points along the route. People are advised to avoid driving in these town centres on race day.
WILL THERE BE PARKING AVAILABLE ALONG THE ROUTE?
The local authorities along the route are planning car parking provision and details will be available nearer to the time. Cars cannot park on the roads of the route, even if this is where you usually park.
CAN I PARK MY CAMPER VAN / MOTORHOME ON THE ROADSIDE OF THE ROUTE TO WATCH THE RACE GO BY?
This is a common sight in France but in some parts of Yorkshire the narrow lanes, dry stone walls and protected grass verges will make it impossible. People are being advised to park in a designated car park wherever possible.
WHERE WILL THE BIG SCREENS BE LOCATED ALONG THE ROUTE?
Individual towns and villages along the route may choose to put up big screens showing Le Tour, and details of these will be available nearer to the race. There will also be fan parks along the route where the Tour will be shown, and these include St George’s Square and Sands recreation ground at Holmfirth.
WHAT TIME SHOULD I AIM TO BE IN POSITION ON THE ROAD SIDE?
We would advise that you aim to be at your chosen location well in advance of the race starting.
Get there early: Tour de France spectators urged to think about being in best spots at 8am
DO I HAVE TO PAY TO WATCH THE TOUR ANYWHERE ALONG THE ROUTE?
The Tour de France is the biggest free sporting event in the world. The only places out of access to the general public are the grandstands and VIP areas at the start and finish which are reserved for corporate sponsors and Tour officials.
For more news and information about Le Tour visit our dedicated page
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