In 50 days the Tour de France will arrive in Yorkshire – and the Grand Depart will begin. Understandably; excitement is reaching fever pitch. As the race draws closer, we’re going to continue to bring you unique Wheelie Good Guys perspective on the event.
Parts 1 and 2 of our Stage 2 guide looked at the second step of the Grand Depart in detail. We also brought you a more in depth feature on the Holme Moss climb earlier this week; which proved to be extremely popular. In a similar vein we wanted to bring you another guide on another of the most dramatic climbs of this year’s Tour – Cragg Vale.
Longest Continuous Gradient in England
As the race passes through Hebden Bridge, the half way point of Stage 2 will have been reached. Shortly after, in the valley of Mytholmroyd; the long, arduous climb up to Cragg Vale begins. Cragg Vale – as the road sign at the start informs visitors – is the longest continuous gradient in England; rising 968 feet over 5 and a half miles; ensuring a tough test for the peleton. It will also be a popular place to view the event as the cyclists struggle up it.
The elevation of the climb is around 387m; with a complete length of 8.6 km. The average gradient is around 3.4 percent; with a maximum gradient of 11 percent. There are steeper climbs on the 2014 Tour route; but the sheer distance of Cragg Vale will ensure that it is every bit as grueling as the toughest sections of the race.
“A Different Part of Britain”
Bernard Hinault – the five time winner of the Tour de France – stopped to ride through a section of Cragg Vale back in March; saying that: “We wanted it to be here (Yorkshire) because we wanted to show some other parts of Britain – a different part of Britain.”
With its beautiful surroundings of rugged moorland and sweeping countryside; Cragg Vale sums up this point perfectly. The neighboring woodland, heath land and exposed rock capture the spirit of Yorkshire perfectly; ensuring visitors will leave with images sticking long in the memory.
An Estimated 100 Million Pounds for Local Economy
Cragg Vale itself is a village located in the Calderdale area of West Yorkshire. Touted as the home of the Industrial Revolution; 22 miles of Calderdale will play home to the Tour de France in Yorkshire. An estimated 100 million pounds will be generated for the local economy; making it difficult to argue against the validity of the area hosting the Grand Depart.
It is the furthest south of the Yorkshire Dales; boasting stunning river valleys, rolling hills and sweeping moors. Above Hebden Bridge, the National Trust Hardcastle Crags offer over 15 miles of footpaths and 400 acres of woodland; meaning that visitors basing themselves here for the Tour will have plenty of potential to explore around the race. In addition; there are many reservoirs and local nature reserves; all combining to make a fantastic argument for one of the best places to be as a fan.
Wheelie Good Guys Tour de France News
Wheelie Good Guys will continue to bring you plenty of Tour de France news as the race draws ever closer. If you’re interested in joining our mailing list to keep in touch with all of our Tour de France stories – and also plenty of other exciting cycling news – you can do so through clicking here. If you’re based along the Tour de France route and would like to feature your business or location on the Wheelie Good Guys site you can contact us here.
None of the work we do would be possible without our very kind sponsor Ian Brown. Ian is a personal injury solicitor with Wosskow Brown, and is also the Cycling Speedway Commissioner for Yorkshire.