Rodriguez Looks Forward to Tour de France

Joaquim RodriguezKatusha’s Joaquim Rodriguez has confirmed he will ride the Tour de France despite the fact it had not originally been scheduled as part of his season. Rodriguez, who finished third at last year’s TdF, has not had a good year so far having been one of the victims of the infamous Stage 6 at the Giro d’Italia, abandoning after his crash with fractures of a rib and thumb. Commenting on his recovery the Spaniard said: ‘My rib still hurts a bit, but already there is much less pain than in the beginning. It gets better every day and we still have three more weeks until the Tour.’


In a statement from Katusha Rodriguez continued: ‘I really wanted to perform well in the first part of the season. I had big ambitions but my crashes in the Amstel Gold Race and the Giro ruined my chances for the classics as well as for the first Grand Tour of the season. The other goal I put in place at the beginning of the season, the Tour of Spain, is still there. The course suits me and I want to win that race. This does not mean that I go to the Tour de France as preparation for the Vuelta. I have Tour ambitions too, though not for the GC. The third week looks nice and I want to win one or more stages. I have that goal and in the mean time I will enjoy my bike. Otherwise it would be hard to watch TV without being there. It hurt during the Giro and it would hurt in the Tour, too. Those races are ‘my’ races. It’s only when I watch races like Paris-Roubaix on TV that I don’t have the feeling that I’m missing something.’


The full Team Katusha roster for the Tour de France is not yet finalised.


Full details of Team Katusha and Joaquim Rodriguez at and of the Tour de France at


Want to know how the Tour de France all began? Read the Cyclo feature Origins of the Tour de France here.



Tour Makers Prepare for Grand Départ

Tour Makers Prepare for Grand DépartWith the Grand Départ of the Tour de France less than a month away thousands of Tour Makers are being kitted out with special uniforms and taking part in role training; the army of volunteers has been recruited to help the millions of visitors who will watch the biggest annual sporting event in the world when in starts in Yorkshire on July 5 and winds its way through the UK to London before its return to France.


The Tour Makers are attending training sessions in Leeds at Elland Road Stadium and collecting their uniforms, designed by Yorkshire-based supermarket Asda, who have backed the project by helping to recruit and clothe the volunteers who have been allocated roles such as Route Marshal, Flag Marshal, Wayfinders, Crossing Marshals and Supervisors.


Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, the agency who led the winning bid to bring the Tour de France Grand Départ to Yorkshire and came up with the Tour Maker idea, said: ‘We’ve been blown away by the passion and dedication the Tour Makers have shown already. Now, there’s a real sense of excitement building among them as they complete their training, get their uniforms and prepare for an experience they’ll never forget.’


Tour Makers are being managed by the TdFHUB2014Ltd, the not-for-profit company set up by UK Sport to co-ordinate planning for the opening three stages in the UK.


For more on Yorkshire’s Grand Départ see



The Leap Celebrates the Grand Départ

Tour de France 2014Marking one month to go to the start of the Grand Départ of the Tour de France, a team of cyclists, artists and farmers have come together to install the latest in a series of field art installations. The cyclists, who are part of the Fields of Vision initiative for the Yorkshire Festival 2014, will ride a short time trial in Oxenhope with their tyre tracks revealing the outline of a female figure celebrating the freedom cycling gave to women.


The giant installation, designed by West Yorkshire artist Louise Lockhart, will be seen by visitors to the county from June 5 and television viewers of the Tour de France when it starts in exactly one month’s time on July 5. The work – know as The Leap – will be one of 12 field art installations which will be visible across Stage Two of the Grand Départ.


Geoff Wood, creative director, Fields of Vision, said: ‘For our team working on Fields of Vision, the Tour de France is a fantastic chance to show just what talented artists we have in the region and to use their skills to make art on a truly epic scale. Delivering a project as ambitious as this has been a big undertaking. We are really looking forward to seeing the results of our work on the television and sharing our work with all the viewers. We hope, of course that this will encourage people to explore this glorious landscape.’


For more information about the Yorkshire Festival 2014, including the Fields of Vision project, see



Chris Boardman Launches OS Ride app

Chris BoardmanThis July, the world’s best road cyclists will descend on Britain for the start of the Tour de France. Le Grand Depart in Yorkshire sees the start of 600kilometres of the UK’s toughest terrain before the finish of the third stage in London and a new, free, iOS app allows keen cyclists plenty of time to test themselves on the actual tour route before the pros get here.


British cycling legend Chris Boardman has picked out his favourite sections of the three UK stages of the Tour and has joined with Ordnance Survey to launch the OS Ride app, which contains mapping for all three stages being held in Britain, as well as high quality route maps for historic stages of the TdF when it came to Great Britain in 1974, 1994 and 2007.


Each stage comes with a mapping option allowing cyclists to ride smaller segments making the app truly suitable for all levels of road cycling. The app is also loaded with accurate elevation and height data and includes the option for cyclists to track their speed, distance and time across the challenging stages. The app also includes five bonus routes selected by Boardman, featuring some of his favourite rides from across the country, including Aviemore, Lyme Regis, Llandegla, the Peak District and the Lake District.


Boardman comments: ‘OS Ride allows keen cyclists to record, track and share their stage achievements for both the 2014 stages and historic stages from previous tours. I especially like the option to ride smaller segments of the stages, making it accessible for a wide range of abilities and a great tool to support training programmes. This app is a must have for any keen road cyclist with unrivalled mapping accuracy showing added detail including height and elevation data. The digital maps also feature valuable tourist information for those planning to make the most from the areas surrounding the tour stages.’


Watch the video below with Boardman giving his tips and advice for cyclists on testing out the GB Tour stages as well as more information about the app.


Download the OS Ride app here


Wiggle Ride the Route

wiggleTo celebrate the 2014 Tour de France Grand Départ in Yorkshire Wiggle have announced that they will be hosting a very special, limited capacity event the weekend before the Tour starts, with riders covering the first two stages of the TdF. Starting from the beautiful spa town of Harrogate, riders will follow fully signposted courses covering approximately 80% of the Tour de France routes the professionals will ride a week later avoiding only the busy A-Roads. Riders will be electronically timed to see how they fare against the best cyclists in the world.


Riders will also enjoy support worthy of the pro-peloton with mobile on-course mechanical support, well stocked feed stations and nutrition products plus a post ride massage and a hot meal at the finish line. Wiggle describe the course as ‘extremely challenging’ with more than 300km of cycling over two days taking in the best of the Yorkshire Countryside and all the key leg burning climbs in the Yorkshire Dales and Peak District.


Spaces in the event are strictly limited to 200 riders with Accommodation and Ride Only options available. Package prices start at £149 for Stage 1, rising to £599 for the ‘Yellow Jersey Package’, which includes both stages, all meals and two night’s luxury accommodation.


Full details of the Wiggle Ride the Route experience at



Tour de France 2014 Route

CYCLING TOUR DE FRANCE 2007Details of the Tour de France 2014 route have been unveiled at the Palais des Congres in Paris. Starting in Leeds on Saturday July 5 – the fourth time the race has visited the UK and the first time since 2007 – it proceeds to run York to Sheffield then day three Cambridge to London before heading to France and the coastal town on Le Touquet.


Stage 5 will commemorate the First World War by taking the riders over the cobbles usually seen at the spring Classics, on a 156km leg from Ypres in Belgium to Arenberg, a prospect that defending champion Chris Froome has already confessed gives him cause for concern. However the 3,656km route certainly looks climber-friendly with the Alps featuring three summit finishes – La Planches des Belles Filles (Stage 10), Chamrousse (Stage 13) and Risoul (Stage 14) and the Pyrenees a further two at the ski stations of Plat d’Adet (Stage 17) and Hautacam (Stage 18).


Stage 20, Saturday, July 26, will see the Individual Time Trial run 54km from Bergerac to Perigueux.


The full Tour de France 20414 route is:


Stage 1: Saturday, July 5 – Leeds – Harrogate, 191km

Stage 2: Sunday, July 6 – York – Sheffield, 198km

Stage 3: Monday, July 7 – Cambridge – London, 159km

Stage 4: Tuesday, July 8 – Le Touquet Paris-Plage – Lille, 164km

Stage 5: Wednesday, July 9 – Ypres – Arenberg Porte du Hainaut, 156km

Stage 6: Thursday, July 10 – Arras – Reims, 194km

Stage 7: Friday, July 11 – Epernay – Nancy, 233km

Stage 8: Saturday, July 12 – Tomblaine – Gerardmer, 161km

Stage 9: Sunday, July 13 – Gerardmer – Mulhouse, 166km

Stage 10: Monday, July 14 – Mulhouse – La Planche des Belles Filles, 161km

Tuesday, July 15 – Rest Day

Stage 11: Wednesday, July 16 – Besancon – Oyonnax, 186km

Stage 12: Thursday, July 17 – Bourg-en-Bresse – Saint-Etienne, 183km

Stage 13: Friday, July 18 – Saint-Etienne – Chamrousse, 200km

Stage 14: Saturday, July 19 – Grenoble – Risoul, 177km

Stage 15: Sunday, July 20 – Tallard – Nimes, 222km

Monday, July 21 – Rest Day

Stage 16: Tuesday, July 22 – Carcassone – Bagneres-de-Luchon, 237km

Stage 17: Wednesday, July 23 – Saint-Gaudens – Saint-Lary-Soulan Plat d’Adet, 125km

Stage 18: Thursday, July 24 – Pau – Hautacam, 145km

Stage 19: Friday, July 25 -Maubourguet Pays du Val d’Adour – Bergerac, 208km

Stage 20: Saturday, July 26 – Bergerac – Perigueux,  54km ITT

Stage 21: Sunday, July 27 – Evry – Paris, 136km



Tour de France in London

Tour de France 2014 - Grand Depart YorkshireFollowing last December’s pronouncement that Yorkshire had won the bid to host the opening stages – the ‘Grand Depart’ – of the 2014 Tour de France, further details have been announced of the three stages that will take place in the UK. The opening Stage 1 (July 5) will begin in Leeds, take riders through the Yorkshire Dales and finish in Harrogate; Stage 2 begins in York, takes in Huddersfied and ends in Sheffield; whilst the third stage on Monday July 7 will begin in Cambridge, head to London and visit the Olympic Park and see riders finish on the Mall, te same ending as the London 2012 Olympic Road Race.


2014 will mark the fourth time the TdF has included Britain after previous visits in 1974, 1994 and 2007. The decision to stage the Grand Depart in the UK two years ahead of the original proposal was due, in no small part, to the huge success of British cycling in the Olympic year. Tour de France Race Director Christian Prudhomme commented: ‘Since the resounding success of the Grand Depart in London in 2007, we were very keen to return to the United Kingdom… Bradley Wiggins’s historic victory last July and the enormous crowds that followed the cycling events in the streets of London during the Olympic Games encouraged us to go back earlier than we had initially planned.’


July 5, Stage 1: Leeds, Harewood, Otley, Ilkley, Skipton, Kettlewell, Aysgarth, Hawes, Reeth, Leyburn, Ripon & Harrogate


July 6, Stage 2: York, Knaresborough, Silsden, Keighley, Haworth, Hebden Bridge , Elland, Huddersfield, Holmfirth & Sheffield


July 7, Stage 3: Cambridge, Epping Forest, Olympic Park & The Mall



Leeds to Launch the Tour de France

Yorkshire hosts the Tour de France 2014Yorkshire has won the bid to host the opening stages – the ‘Grand Depart’ – of the 2014 Tour de France, two years ahead of the date they had expected to take the opportunity. Back in May, Cyclo reported that regional tourism agency Welcome to Yorkshire were in ‘advanced talks’ with Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO, the owners of the Tour de France) about staging the 2016 opening, with Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, confirming ‘…in-depth discussions are ongoing but I can reveal Yorkshire’s bid has been positively received by the organising committee at this stage.’ Despite tough competition from the likes of Germany, Spain and Scotland (the latter remains in the running for future events), Yorkshire has won the day with the opening set for Leeds on July 5, 2014 followed by a second day in the county before the race heads to London. Full details have yet to be confirmed.


This marks the fourth time the TdF has included Britain after previous visits in 1974, 1994 and 2007. Race Director Christian Prudhomme commented: ‘Since the resounding success of the Grand Depart in London in 2007, we were very keen to return to the United Kingdom… Bradley Wiggins’s historic victory last July and the enormous crowds that followed the cycling events in the streets of London during the Olympic Games encouraged us to go back earlier than we had initially planned.’