At 11 am tomorrow, the hugely anticipated British Grand Depart of the 2014 Tour de France will finally start, leaving Leeds and heading for Harrogate. The world’s most famous cycle race is holding its first three stages in Britain, ending in London on 7 July.
As soon as we heard the Tour was heading to Britain we got our maps out and started poring over them and we’ve found some great facts and figures to share with you.
- The three British stages cover a huge 569 km – so if you’re planning on emulating the pros and following the routes on OS Ride, you’ll need to do some preparation!
- If that all seems like a lot of hard work, our map database tells us that there are 588 pubs along the routes, so there’s plenty of opportunity to relax!
- The highest point on the Tour is on the Leeds to Harrogate stage, reaching 525 m.
- If you like your waterways, the Tour will cross an impressive 27 rivers and canals – and crosses the River Ure four times!
We’re keen to help you get the most out of the Tour, and our Ordnance Survey website is jam-packed with maps and resources. If you’re feeling adventurous and want to try the routes yourself, you can download the GPX files of all of the routes. If you have an iPhone, you can also download our fantastic OS Ride app, supported by Olympic medallist Chris Boardman MBE.
The easy to use free app uses our detailed outdoor mapping, including OS Landranger. As well as this year’s stages, the app comes with route maps for historic British stages. And you don’t have to tackle the whole route in one go, the rides can be split into smaller segments, to suit all abilities of road cycling. Use OS Ride to track your progress, speed, distance and time as well as viewing accurate height data showing the elevation across all the routes.
If you’re planning on being a spectator instead, there’s plenty of information on our website on how to buy maps for the areas around the routes and plan a visit with your family too.