Details of the official Grand Départ Spectator Hubs and leading locations to watch the start of this year’s Tour de France in Leeds have been revealed today.
Areas along the route will play host to dedicated spectator zones as the world’s largest annual sporting event travels out from its start in Leeds city centre on Saturday 5 July.
The locations named are the startline on The Headrow to Eastgate, Scott Hall Playing Fields, Harewood House, Pool in Wharfedale and Otley town centre before stage one of the world’s greatest cycle race leaves the city limits.
As the riders leave the startline on The Headrow at 11:10am on race morning to begin the ceremonial roll-out, they are expected to be cheered on by up to 45,000 people keen to see the historic moment as they make their way to Eastgate and then left onto Regent Street and Sheepscar Street.
Heading up the A61 the peloton will pass an official Grand Départ Spectator Hub at Scott Hall Playing Fields, where up to 10,000 people are likely to be watching. The free family-friendly hub will feature a big screen showing live coverage of the race before and after it passes by, as well as stage entertainment and activities for children including British Cycling’s ‘Go Ride’ programme. There will also be access for those with disabilities, on-site parking and food stalls.
As the riders reach the Harewood Estate they will be greeted by thousands of fans who will be joining those who will be staying in the grounds as part of the Yorkshire Festival of Cycling, before the race itself will officially get underway as the peleton leaves the estate and follows the A659.
With the race action underway, the community-organised spectator zone at Pool in Wharfedale will be one of the first places on the route to see the riders competitively getting up to speed and is likely to attract up to 6,000 spectators. This zone will be offering camping facilities and a wide range of family entertainment and food throughout the day and the chance to watch the race unfold on a large temporary screen.
The route shortly after then rolls into Otley, where the town centre with its rich cycling history is expected to be packed with up to 15,000 keen spectators. Facilities here will include a double-sided big screen while the cafes and bars are all likely to be open with cycle racks also available.
The route then continues on leaving the Leeds city limits and on to Ilkley and Skipton before heading into the Yorkshire Dales, returning via Ripon to the stage finish in Harrogate.
Two hours before the riders arrive at each location, fans will be able to enjoy the unique 180-vehicle publicity ‘caravan’ offering free gifts and promotional items to those at the roadside as it passes.
Leeds City Council executive member for leisure and skills Councillor Lucinda Yeadon said:
“The countdown to the Grand Départ in Leeds is getting really exciting now, and the release of the spectator zone locations will only add to that. While these zones are great places to watch from, especially for families, we would encourage people to spread out along the route as much as possible. That way, not only will you get a better view, it will also look amazing on television if the entire route through Leeds is filled with people at the roadside all the way along.
“The named hubs and spectator zones are expected to be incredibly popular, so our key message for all spectators will be choose where you want to be, get there early and make a day of it celebrating what is sure to be an amazing ‘I was there’ moment for Leeds.”
For the latest details on the Tour de France in Leeds visit www.leeds.gov.uk/granddepartleeds or sign up for email alerts at firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out about all the spectator hubs for the Grand Départ and the latest information visit www.letouryorkshire.com