Uncharted territory: Le Tour comes further north than ever before

The world's greatest bike race comes to Yorkshire tomorrow and we've got some interesting facts about its time in the region:

  • The Tour has visited Britain three times before - in 1974, 1994 and 2007
  • The two Yorkshire stages cover 391.5km (243 miles) - 190.5km (118 miles) on day one and 201km (125 miles) on day two
  • The riders will complete stage one in about four hours-and-a-half hour and stage two in about five hours
Team bikes on the M1 en route to Yorkshire
Team bikes on the M1 en route to Yorkshire Credit: Julie Smith
  • 198 riders will take part in the race in 22 teams of nine
  • Estimates are that up to three million people could watch the race as it passes through Yorkshire 300 miles of public roads are being closed for the event
  • The organisers are using 100km of barriers, more than 40,000 traffic cones; 5,400 road signs; 12,000 sandbags; 2,750 portable toilets and 70 km of event bunting
Alpacas won't be the only things in these colours for long in Reeth
Alpacas won't be the only things in these colours for long in Reeth Credit: Press Association
  • Reeth - a village in Swaledale which is on the stage one route - will be the most northerly point the Tour has ever visited
  • 8,000 stewards will police the route helped by 10,000 Tour Makers, modelled on the London 2012 Games Makers, and more than 1,200 medical personnel
  • A short stretch of Jenkin Road - a suburban street in Sheffield - is the steepest hill on the whole Tour at 30%
Buttertubs Pass near Hawes
Buttertubs Pass near Hawes Credit: Askrigg
  • The highest point on stage one is the Buttertubs Pass - or the Cote de Buttertubs - at 532m (1,745ft). The highest point on stage two is Holme Moss summit at 521m (1,709ft)
  • The Tour de France is 3,664km (2,276 miles) long this year. It finishes onthe Champs-Elysees, in Paris, on July 27
  • Although the first two stages are being celebrated as Yorkshire's Grand Depart, a 1km stretch of stage two passes into the traditional county of Lancashire as it crosses the border into Rochdale. The route also crosses into Derbyshire for a short distance near the Woodhead Pass
Le Tour media centre
Le Tour media centre
  • The Grand Depart is being followed by 2,000 accredited journalists from 600 media organisations
  • The Tour is broadcast in 188 countries and has an estimated worldwide TV audience of 3.5 billion
  • 1,200 hotel rooms are booked every night of the race for the riders, their teams and the Tour entourage
Brian Robinson
Brian Robinson Credit: Press Association
  • Brian Robinson - the first Briton to win a Tour stage in 1958 - lives a short distance from the stage two route near Huddersfield