Organisers of the first two stages of the Tour de France, which start in Leeds and York on July 5 and 6 respectively, have announced the locations of 17 spectator hubs.
The hubs will be free to enter and will have big screens showing the race, plus refreshments and entertainment.
Locations on the opening stage include Scott Hall Playing Fields in Leeds, Pool in Wharfedale, and Otley town centre. As the race hits the Yorkshire Dales, fans will be able to watch the action at the National Park Centres at Grassington, Hawes and Aysgarth Falls.
National Park Authority Chairman Peter Charlesworth said: “This year is the 60th anniversary of the creation of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the Tour de France is the icing on the birthday cake.
“We are expecting around 400,000 people in the National Park for the eventand we are working with landowners, farmers and businesses who will be opening temporary campsites and car parks to accommodate them.
“In addition, we normally do not allow overnight stays in our car parks butwe will be relaxing the rule in the week leading up to the Grand Depart sothat people in campervans will have somewhere to park up.”
The spectator hubs are in addition to the race start points at the Headrow in Leeds, York Racecourse and Parker’s Piece in Cambridge.
Sheffield’s Don Valley Bowl, with a capacity of 40,000, is expected to be the biggest spectator hub of the Grand Départ as the race heads for Sheffield from Harrogate on stage two.
Sir Rodney Walker, chair of TdF HUB 2014 Ltd, said: “People can now start planning where they want to spend their day and take advantage of the facilities on offer which include big screens, food and entertainment.
“Whether you want to cheer on your favourite riders or spend the day with your family, there’s something for everyone. I have no doubt they will contribute to the success of this event.”
Leeds City Council said it expected the hubs to be popular.
Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive member for leisure at Leeds City Council, said: “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.”
The full list of spectator hubs for the first two stages, and the days they will be in operation, is:
|Aysgarth, National Park Visitor Centre||July 5|
|Grassington, National Park Centre||July 5|
|Harrogate, West Park||July 3-6|
|Hawes, National Park Visitor Centre||July 5|
|Haworth, Central Park||July 5 & 6|
|Holmfirth, Sands Recreation Ground||July 5 & 6|
|Huddersfield, St Georges Square||July 5 & 6|
|Ilkley, Riverside Gardens||July 3-6|
|Keighley, Victoria Park||July 5 & 6|
|Knaresborough Castle||July 5 & 6|
|Leeds Scott Hall Playing Fields||July 5|
|Leeds The Headrow||July 5|
|Leyburn Market Place||July 5|
|Otley Town Centre||July 5|
|Sheffield Coronation Park||July 6|
|Sheffield Don Valley Bowl||July 6|
|Skipton High Street||July 5|
|York Designer Outlet||July 6|
|York Racecourse||July 3-7|
For more informaiton see letour.yorkshire.com.
Details of spectator hubs in London are due to be announced this week.
Four London locations have already been announced for Tour de France Fan Parks at Green Park, Trafalgar Square, Olympic Park, and Canary Wharf.
Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.
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