Yorkshire stately home Harewood House, near Leeds, will open its doors for a three-day Festival of Cycling from 4-6 July next year, to celebrate the grand départ of the Tour de France 2014.
Fans will be able to camp out and watch riders such as Chris Froome and Peter Sagan pass through the estate’s picturesque grounds on Saturday 5 July. For those who want to watch the race from some of the best vantage points in rural North Yorkshire, guided bike rides will take place on the Saturday, as the race heads from Leeds to Harrogate, and on Sunday’s stage 2 between York and Sheffield.
Women-only rides and cycle loops for families are also on the cards, as is a bike kit and outdoor brands expo, and plans are in place to bring in a stage for live entertainment.
Tour de France race director Christian Prudhomme visited Yorkshire last week. "We just can’t wait to come to Yorkshire for the grand départ in 2014," he said. "It’s a spectacular region and we hope that fans will come from all over and experience it first hand. With beautiful venues like Harewood House, there will be some incredible places to watch and some great ways to get involved."
Festival of Cycling director Christopher Newton said the weekend will be "the hub for the Tour in Yorkshire, and the perfect way to witness the race’s unrivalled atmosphere".
Tour director Christian Prudhomme (right) with Lord Harewood