Written by Cycling, Photography

Tour de France 2014 Stage 1 – Yorkshire En Fête

Tour de France 2014 - Stage 1 - Leeds to Harrogate-5

Depart London 5am.

Arrive North Yorkshire 9.30am.

Get lost a little because of road closures, and then find a nice little place to park. Then take a three mile hike onto Grinton Moor (or Cote de Griton Moor as the French both renamed and mispelled it).

Realise that you really should have brought your bike in the small hire car you rented because nearly everyone else is cycling.

Tour de France 2014 - Stage 1 - Leeds to Harrogate-7

Find a spot that’s actually significantly above the official finish of the category 3 climb (Nope – I’ve no idea why they didn’t put it at the actual top).

Tour de France 2014 - Stage 1 - Leeds to Harrogate-16

Delight in discovering that your portable TV works and gets good reception to watch live ITV/ITV4 coverage while you wait – remembering that there’s only a two hour or so battery life.

Tour de France 2014 - Stage 1 - Leeds to Harrogate-23

Watch the very prepared Scottish chap next to you paint an elaborate King of the Mountains jersey on the road using special spray can chalk, that washes away in the rain, that he bought specially from Germany.

Tour de France 2014 - Stage 1 - Leeds to Harrogate-24

Watch two very industrious little girls spend many hours writing the name of every cyclist they – or their father – can think of. Ironically one of the names is that of Jens Voigt, who was captured right in front of us, after yet another heroic escape that saw him take the King of the Mountains jersey.

Tour de France 2014 - Stage 1 - Leeds to Harrogate-26

Take photos.

Tour de France 2014 - Stage 1 - Leeds to Harrogate-31

Walk back to the car in time to watch the last 10km on your portable TV, including Mark Cavendish’s terribly unlucky crash.

Tour de France 2014 - Stage 1 - Leeds to Harrogate-33

Drive to hotel.

Tour de France 2014 - Stage 1 - Leeds to Harrogate-35

Discover hotel’s WiFi is down. But Leeds’ 4G is good (on EE). 0.5GB of photos uploaded.

Tour de France 2014 - Stage 1 - Leeds to Harrogate-37

Rinse and repeat.

Tour de France 2014 - Stage 1 - Leeds to Harrogate-39

Twice.

Tour de France 2014 - Stage 1 - Leeds to Harrogate-46

Plenty more photos on Flickr.