Sunday, July 06, 2014

Proud to be from Yorkshire

We watched yesterday’s first stage of the Tour de France on television. The cyclists started in Leeds where there were huge crowds to cheer the riders on but it wasn’t until they got to Harewood House that they started racing. The Duchess of Cambridge cut the tape and the riders set off, led by the Sporting Director until they were on the open road.

They then followed a familiar route that I took as a young man through the towns to Skipton, after which I used to continue though to Gargrave, Long Preston and Settle on route to Horton in Ribblesdale, or take the route to Malham, Clapham or Kirby Lonsdale. The riders though,  headed off towards Grassington and  Kettlewell. From there they returned to familiar territory at Aysgarth, Hawes, Thwaite and Muker. The route turned south just before Richmond towards Ripon and finished at the spa town of Harrogate.

Pam and I  have watched the video we recorded up to where the peleton was about to climb the 7.5km to Buttertubs pass.

What struck us most, apart from the stunning scenery, was the number of people who had gone out to watch the riders go past. In every town along the route, the crowds were several people deep and even on the open roads, the crowds were impressive. At Buttertubs, which is a mere Cat 3 hill, there were thousands. It was as if we were  watching the riders on Mont Ventoux or Alp d’ Huez.

Today the route goes from York to Sheffield and includes the following climbs:
  • Km 47.0 - Côte de Blubberhouses1.8 kilometre-long climb at 6.1% - category 4
  • Km 85.0 - Côte d'Oxenhope Moor3.1 kilometre-long climb at 6.4% - category 3
  • Km 112.5 - VC - Côte de Ripponden1.3 kilometre-long climb at 8.6% - category 3
  • Km 119.5 - Côte de Greetland1.6 kilometre-long climb at 6.7% - category 3
  • Km 143.5 - Côte de Holme Moss4.7 kilometre-long climb at 7% - category 2
  • Km 167.0 - Côte de Midhopestones2.5 kilometre-long climb at 6.1% - category 3
  • Km 175.0 - Côte de Bradfield1 kilometre-long climb at 7.4% - category 4
  • Km 182.0 - Côte d'Oughtibridge1.5 kilometre-long climb at 9.1% - category 3
  • Km 196.0 - VC - Côte de Jenkin Road0.8 kilometre-long climb at 10.8% - category 4
As you can see, Ripponden and Jenkin Road are steep at 8.6% and 10.8% and Holme Moss is the longest at 4.7 kilometres at 7%. I have never walked those routes but I have walked Midhopestones, Bradfield and Oughtibridge.

No comments: