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Tour de France 2014 Stage 2 Route MapStage 1 may well have been one for the sprinters but stage 2 is being heralded as a proper, Yorkshire, Northern Classic of a stage and that means plenty of climbs. The route takes in almost 4000m of climbing along its 208km starting in North Yorkshire, passing through West Yorkshire, dipping its toe ever so slightly into Derbyshire before the grand finale in South Yorkshire. There are so many climbs that I’m splitting them up over 2 blog posts! In this post we’ll cover the route from the start at York Racecourse up to the climb of Cragg Vale and here you will find Part 2 with all the remaining climbs all the way to Sheffield.

Other posts for Tour de France 2014: Climbs of Stage 1 – Climbs of Stage 2, Part 2 – Cote de Buttertubs – Cote de Holme Moss – Cote de Jenkin Road Strines.

Tour de France 2014 Stage 2 Elevation Profile Part 1

 

After an initial tour through the streets of the walled city of York and the inevitable helicopter shots of the very impressive York Minster the route takes to the A59 for the next 60km taking the riders directly into the heart of the Pennines. If you are riding this route yourself then I’d try and get a very early start as the A59 can get very busy especially as far as Knaresborough.

Harrogate to Menwith Hill
Harrogate to menwith Hill Elevation Profile

Length: 5.8 km

Elevation gain: 137 m

Maximum elevation: 210 m

Average gradient: 2.3 %

Maximum gradient: 7 %

Strava climb category: 4

View maps, graphs, photos and stats on Harrogate to Menwith Hill.

The first 30km to Knaresborough is as flat as a pancake passing through the Vale of York, but make the most of it, from here onwards flat roads will be few and far between. On leaving Harrogate there is a long but very steady climb all the way up to the RAF base at Menwith Hill. Nothing dramatic but could be into the prevailing headwind which makes this often exposed road feel much harder than the profile suggests. In my days of living in Harrogate we would always ride the far quieter Penny Pot Lane that runs parallel with the A59 to avoid the traffic but if you are wanting to ride the true route then you’re stuck on the main road.

Blubberhouses to Kex Gill

 

Blubberhouses Kex Gill Elevation Profile

Length: 2.8 km

Elevation gain: 131 m

Maximum elevation: 300 m

Average gradient: 5.5 %

Maximum gradient: 10 %

Strava climb category: 4

View maps, graphs, photos and stats on Blubberhouses to Kex Gill.

The very consistent climb out of Blubberhouses marks the high point of the A59 on its journey over to Lancashire but the climb is still a relative leg loosener compared to what’s coming up. If you’re in the area for a few days then the climb to the north from Pately Bridge up to Greenhow is a must do. Also the road from Blubberhouses over to Otley/Ilkley is quite a challenge in either direction and could make for a good loop.

Bolton Road out of Addingham

Bolton Rroad from Addington Elevation ProfileLength: 2.6 km

Elevation gain: 109 m

Maximum elevation: 235 m

Average gradient: 4.3 %

Maximum gradient: 7 %

Strava climb category: 4

View maps, graphs, photos and stats on Bolton Road out of Addingham.

Following the main road from the centre of Addingham to its summit at Cringles this the 2nd climb in as many days out of this town after stage 1’s climb to Chelker Reservoir. Nothing major but still another 100m of vertical.

Keighley to Lees Moor

Keighley to Lees Moor Elevation ProfileLength: 2.3 km

Elevation gain: 89 m

Maximum elevation: 212 m

Average gradient: 3.9 %

Maximum gradient: 16 %

Strava climb category: n/a

View maps, graphs, photos and stats on Keighley to Lees Moor.

This climb is more of a first step on the way up to the summit of Cock Hill but with a steep section low down it is a bit nasty way to set about it. From here the route passes through Haworth (home of the Brontë sisters) and round to the next climb at Penistone Hill via a number of very steep ups and down. Not big enough to warrant being listed themselves but by this point in the route you’ll certainly notice them.

Penistone Hill to Tom Stell’s Seat

Penistone Hill to Tom Stells Seat Elevation ProfileLength: 0.7 km

Elevation gain: 71 m

Maximum elevation: 301 m

Average gradient: 11 %

Maximum gradient: 18 %

Strava climb category: n/a

View maps, graphs, photos and stats on Penistone Hill to Tom Stell’s Seat.

The second step en route to Cock Hill and it sure is a steep one. As with the previous climb it doesn’t have enough elevation to be categorised as a climb, even by Strava, but is certainly worthy of a mention. From here there is a short descent to Oxenhope and the start of the climb up proper.

Cock Hill

Cock Hill from Shaw Lane Oxenhope Elevation ProfileLength: 3.1 km

Elevation gain: 194 m

Maximum elevation: 432 m

Average gradient: 6.3 %

Maximum gradient: 11 %

Strava climb category: 3

View maps, graphs, photos and stats on Cock Hill.

Finally, after all those leg-sapping smaller climbs here begins the first of the 3 main climbs of the day, all of which could be subject to an unwelcome headwind on their open summits should the prevailing south westerly be blowing. Another main road so no nasty surprises in gradient (they’ll be coming later in the stage) but certainly a proper climb.

Cragg Vale

Cragg Vale Elevation ProfileLength: 8.6 km

Elevation gain: 296 m

Maximum elevation: 387 m

Average gradient: 3.4 %

Maximum gradient: 11 %

Strava climb category: 3

View maps, graphs, photos and stats on Cragg Vale.

At the bottom of the descent from Cock HIll lies Hebden Bridge which marks the half way point of the stage. (What? We’re only half way through?!) A quick trip down the valley to Mytholmroyd and there begins the longest, continuous climb of the day up to Cragg Vale. In fact, Cragg Vale claims to be the “longest continuous gradient in England”, it must be, there’s a sign that says so! (Although Great Dun Fell is by far the biggest of England’s climbs). A few steeper pitches but on average it is a fairly straightforward climb.

Next Week…

The final 7 climbs of the stage! Make sure you don’t miss it (Twitter / Facebook).

Please let me know in the comments section (or @VeloViewer on Twitter) if you spot any errors. The maximum gradients are a bit of a guess on a few of the climbs but should be there or thereabouts.

 

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One Response to “The Climbs of Stage 2 of the 2014 Tour de France – Part 1”

  1. pete

    great blog thinking of going to the race as I am from lancs and its not far to travel .can you give me any advice on were would be the best spot to see the riders many thanks

    Reply

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