Can you believe it? 10 years on from arguably the best ever Grand Depart in the history of the race? Le Tour was met with huge crowds, thunderous cheers and all the warmth of a traditional Yorkshire welcome.

Sadly the Manx Missile (now Sir Mark Cavendish) suffered a dislocated shoulder as the riders sprinted to the line in Harrogate. Here are some of your photos and memories ……….


“Wheel Easy was very excited to be invited by Radio 4 programme Open Country to ride up Buttertubs and chat to the presenters.” Gia. Click here for the ride report or click here to listen to the radio programme.


“We came up from Sussex watching the race go by at the Cote de Cray Hill (Kidstones). Walked down to a pub in Buckden to see Cav finish, great atmosphere to total silence in a nanosecond. On the drive home, I said to my wife Pat that I could happily live here in Yorkshire. To my astonishment she agreed. The rest is history….. “David Rang


“In 2014 I hadn’t even started cycling but I do remember being at Harewood House for ‘Le Grand Depart’. Fantastic atmosphere with a flyover from the red arrows. William, Kate and Harry were there too.” Janet Glynn


Some great photos here from Ang Prescott. “The riders were preceded by the noise of the helicopters which created huge excitement and anticipation within the spectators.”


“So excited when it was announced, loved the build up, visitors in town, me just riding round in my Knaresboro’ RT racing kit. Rode stage one and two in the weekend before. Rode out to the final climb to see Jen’s Voight clinch the mountains jersey on his final tour. Rode back to Harrogate and as we went through Masham heard the commentary saying Cav crashed, nearly cried. Sunday did the French thing and walked to the end of my road to see the peleton go past. Stood at the only roundabout to be used on different days in different directions in the same tour strike the direction sign. Loved all the art work in town and got a picture of me from a local photographic society who had spotted me in my kit posing round town.” Chris Bishop


These photos from John Sewell.


This photo shows the size of the crowds along Parliament Street. Look closely & you can see a young Vince Grealy sat just under the black arrow.


“It was a little naïve to think that we could get anywhere near the finish line – the crowds were huge & the atmosphere was fabulous. Instead we settled down on the Stray to watch the race on the giant screen. A massive “ooohhhh” went up as Mark Cavendish went down. I still feel sorry for Marcel Kittel – he may have won the stage but it’s not the main memory from the day. The next day I stood in Starbeck to watch the peleton come through on their way to Sheffield.” Tall Tim


These memories from Tim Rhodes.

“The build up had been massive and as the infrastructure started to be put in place which included the building of a village” on West Park, erecting giant screens around town etc, I started to get really excited and into the spirit of things.

I’d been giving much thought to where and how I was going to watch the race. On the evening before “Le Grand Depart” I drove into Harrogate and left my car with large multi purpose ladder and trolly left within. 

On the day itself, Saturday 5 July 2014, we walked into town, had a pint in Pitch’n Piano on John Street (inflated prices for the day) then around 1:30 I put my plan into action. I returned to my car, strapped the heavy ladder on a trolley and pulled it through the streets of Harrogate. I hadn’t planned for the enormous crowds around the War Memorial area, so I diverted onto a quieter street, Cambridge Terrace, round the back of The NatWest Bank and came out at the top of Parliament Street. Wearing a bright yellow cycling shirt and cap with camera round my neck, I shouted in a confident tone “ stand clear, stand clear” at which point, to my amazement, the crowd dispersed leaving me enough room to erect my ladder together with platform. I later learned everyone thought I was an official! I moved the ladder to the back of the pavement and invited those whom I’d displaced to join me on it! I think I had one of the best view points around. The only downside was that I couldn’t leave my position for 4 hours to go for a comfort break so had to keep my legs crossed!!

My wife, Janet, thinks she bettered me by being invited through her daughter’s friend onto the balcony of the penthouse of Harrogate House which overlooks Parliament Street. The so called VIP VIEWPOINT. She took great photos of the crowds from there! “


If you would like to add some additional story and/or pictures please e-mail the news team.