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John Crookes rides The Tour de France


Riding the Yorkshire stages of the TdF ( well most of them )


Last year the route for the first two stages of the Tour de France was announced.  I thought it would be fun to ride them in a small group.  We wanted to avoid the boring bits at the start, ( dual carriageways are fine if they are closed to traffic ).  And we didn't want to get tied into a sportive.


So armed with a training plan ( thanks Alex - I followed most of it ) and some hill practice in Spain, we put our route together.  Based in Harrogate, we joined the route at Otley and then off into the Yorkshire Dales - in pouring rain.  Buttertubs Pass was great but the descent to Reeth was bone chilling.  Dried out by the time we got back to the B & B and ready for a pasta refuel in Harrogate.


Day 2 started with hills and continued with hills - much harder than Day 1.  Bacon Butties in Hebden Bridge set us up for Cragg Vale - claimed at 8 km. as the longest continuous ascent in Engalnd.  A scary descent with cross winds and cyclists being blown off the road intensified the experience.  Holme Moss was a struggle, but the end was in sight.  But with a train to catch we couldn't do Cote de Jenkin Road ( that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it ).


An amazing two days - hats off to the pros who've got another 19 stages to do.  North Yorkshire is going mad getting ready for Le Grand Depart.  And Jenkin Road will be awesome.  See Kittel get up it at


The routes are on RidewithGPS 4928457 and 4921872


John Crookes















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