|The tour de France "caravan"
|Tour de France 2014
1. Vincenzo Nibali - ITA
2. Jean-Christophe Péraud FRA
3. Thibaut Pinot - FRA
4. Alejandro Valverde - ESP
5 . Tejay Van Garderen - USA
|►► Site guide
|Full site index
|► Cycling in France
|►► Principal chapters on
regions of France
Paris, a guide to the French regions and their tourist attractions.
|Tourism in France
and places to visit in France - historic
monuments, art galleries, seasides, and more
|Planning a trip to
on things to do before starting your trip to France..
|Driving in France
and useful information on driving in and through France - motorways,
tolls, where to stay....
|Maps of France
towns, departments, regions, climate, wine areas and other themes.
|The French way of
mine of information about life and living in France, including working
in France, living in France, food and eating, education, shopping.
|A-Z dictionary of France
dictionary of modern France - key figures, institutions, acronyms,
culture, icons, etc.
email to contact at about-france dot com
Descent from the Col d'Izoard, high point of the Tour, stage 14
Carcassonne - start of stage 22
Périgueux - finish of stage 26
greatest sporting event
de France in the UK
The 101st edition of the Tour de France started in the UK.
Starting from the city of Leeds
Riders enjoyed two days of cycling through the spectacular scenery
before a third day's riding on the flatter land of the southeast,
. And it only rained during the final kilometres into London !
map and details of the British legs, see
of the 2014 Tour de France
Tour de France route map by About-France.com.
stage areas for regional tourism information .
permitted only by permission.
The One hundred and first edition of
the Tour de France was distinguished by three factors.
1) A start in England, with two stages in the hills of
Yorkshire, and one between Cambridge and London (route)
2) Four days in the north eastern regions of France, in areas
that from this year on will be commemorating the hundedth anniversary
of the Great War (1914 - 1918).
3) There was only one day of individual time trials this year,
rather than the two days that have been the norm in recent years.
See the stage by stage guide below to follow the Tour round France,
and click on the links for more information about the regions and areas
of France through which the riders and the media circus travelled in 2014. Alternatively, click on the map opposite to bring
up regional information.
© About-France.com 2009-2014
The 2014 Tour de France route
stage by stage
(towns, regions) and terrain
||Sat 5 July
to Harrogate (Yorkshire)
||Sun 6 July
||York to Sheffield (Yorkshire)
||Mon 7th July
||Cambridge to London (East
Paris Plage to Lille (Nord - Pas de Calais)
A first stage in areas that saw fighting in the Great War
||Wed 9 July
(Belgium) to Porte du Hainault (Nord - Pas de Calais)
- Through the fields of Flanders past memorials of the Great
War but also including some of the celebrated cobbled roads of
||Arras (Nord - Pas de Calais)
to Reims (Champagne)
- another stage through a part of France that is commemorating the
centenary of the
First World War
||Fri 11 July
||Epernay (Champagne) to
A last day through the former battlefields of the Great War
||Sat 12 July
near Nancy, to
- including a notorious climb to the Col de Grosse Pierre pass.
||Sun 13 July
to Mulhouse (Alsace)
Up and down the Vosges mountains, then down to a finish on the Alsace
||Mon 14 July
||Mulhouse (Alsace) to La
Planche des Belles Filles. (Franche
Comté). Seven climbs, and a finish at
1,035 metres in the Vosges.
Comté) to Oyonnax (Rhône-Alpes).
A stage through the hills and valleys of the Jura mountains
Bresse to Saint-Etienne, (Rhône-Alpes)
to Champrousse (Rhône-Alpes)
Eastwards into the Alps. Two big climbs, including a finish at
Champrousse at 1,730 metres.
||Grenoble to Risoul
Second Alpine stage. Three climbs, including the Col d'Izoard at 2,360
metres, and a finish at 1,855 metres.
||Tallard (Provencal Alps)
to Nimes (Languedoc-Roussillon)
day - Carcassonne (Languedoc-Roussillon)
to Bagnères de Luchon (Midi-Pyrénées),
including a climb of almost 12 km to Port de Balès (1755
to Saint-Lary-Soulan Pla d’Adet (Midi-Pyrénées).
First Pyrenean mountain stage, with a section in Spain,
and four passes, including a summit finish at 1680 metres.
||Pau (Aquitaine) to
Second Pyrenean mountain stage
||Maubourguet Pays du Val d’Adour (Midi-Pyrénées)
to Bergerac (Aquitaine).
Across the rolling landscape of Gascony
Individual time trials. The Tour in the Dordogne
(Ile de France) - Through the outskirts of
Paris, and on to the finish on the
Total length: 3656 km
the record: route of
the The Tour de France 2008 : Tour de France 2009
de France 2010 : Tour de France 2011
France 2012 Tour
de France 2013
With British cyclists winning the Tour de France for the last two
years, all eyes will be on the 2014 Tour to see if British riders can
make it a hatrick. Will Chris Froome or Bradley Wiggins pull it off
again? Or will the 101st Tour be won by an Australian rider, or an
American rider? Or even – as was so often the cas in the past
– by a French rider?
And will the event be
marred again in 2014 by doping scandals? Hopefully not; in 2013, 443
blood texts were carried out on riders before during and after the
race, and none tested positive for forbidden substances such as
steroids. Is it safe to say that the age of riders pumping
performance-enhancing products is now over?
Now in its second century, the "Tour" goes on,
and it is difficult
to imagine how it could not. This mega sporting event is worth millions
of Euros in advertising, sponsorship and worldwide television rights,
attracts millions of spectators, and is one of Europe's great media
For the hundreds of thousands who turn up
to line the route, the cycling is actually only a tiny bit of the show:
While the time-trial races may offer a more long-drawn-out cycling
experience for spectators, with competitors taking part one by one, on
normal race days the riders may go past in just a minute, especially in
the earlier part of a day's leg, before the participants have become
more spaced out. But then, the actual race is just a small part of the
show. Starting some two hours before the race, the "Caravan" is a
cavalcade of floats, decorated cars and other vehicles that moves along
the route, throwing out goodies and free samples to the spectators; it
is a massive advertising stunt. The advertising caravan, made up of the
Tour's official sponsors, is followed by a long line of official cars,
technical vehicles, media and motorbikes, lights flashing, horns
sounding, all warming up the spectators for the actual event itself.
Then, at last, the riders come by - and are gone again as quickly as
they appeared, pounding uphill or downhill at speeds that can reach 50
mph or more. A bit of an anti-climax.... And with that, the day's
excitement is over.
Anyone wanting to watch the race
in a serious manner would be well advised to do so on television; but
for a day's outing, with all the fun of the crowds, the waiting, the
caravan, and the atmosphere, watching the Tour go by is as good as many
other events, and what's more it's free.
The Tour can
be watched all over France, and each year the route is different,
taking in at least one leg in another country.
If you go to watch the Tour, specially with kids,
care! Don't let children stand too close to the road, and never cross
the road while the caravan is passing.
Tourists wanting to book holiday
accommodation along the route are advised to do so early.
Click here for holiday cottages
for bed and
Visit the Official
of the tour de France
Tourist attractions in
France, by region :
France in general:
The main historic monuments
and tourist attractions in France
Follow these links for a more detailed list of major tourist
attractions in the following regions:
Paris tourist attractions
to see and do in Languedoc-Roussillon
attractions in Champagne
sites in the
Nord-Pas de Calais region
Tourist sites in Lorraine
A brief introduction to the regions of France
Accommodation for the Tour
All hotel rooms
in and around the start and finish points get booked up very fast by
the teams and the media.
To avoid disappointment, check out available hotel rooms as soon as
possible, using the major online portals booking.com