Peak gear up for Tour de France

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The one-year countdown has begun to the day thousands of people will line the route of the Tour de France as it passes through the Peak District National Park.

On July 6 next year hundreds of cyclists will stream along the route from York to Sheffield via the Peak District on Day 2 of Le Tour after the Yorkshire Grand Départ in Leeds.

The world’s top cyclists will face one of the greatest cycling challenges on the long climb up Holme Moss (571m/1719ft – site of the highest radio transmitter in the country).

Spectators can enjoy the dramatic Dark Peak scenery as the racers swoosh from Holme village, over Holme Moss, down the Woodhead Pass, racing past the national park ranger centre at Langsett and on through the picturesque village of Bradfield to Sheffield city centre.

Preparations are already under way to celebrate the event, with the Peak District National Park Authority working with Welcome to Yorkshire, local councils and partners to make sure the area’s businesses and residents benefit from this opportunity.

Factsheets will be available soon giving information for people wanting to advertise their businesses, organise village events like parties, set up camping and caravanning sites or open temporary car parks.

Peak District National Park Authority chair Tony Favell said: “The eyes of the world will be on the Peak District on July 6 2014. It’s an opportunity to showcase this beautiful area to millions of people and we want to ensure local people get the most out of it.

“Businesses need to prepare now to make the most of their potential – we must grasp every opportunity we can to boost the local economy so it’s important to get the message out about the scale of the event.”

The Tour de France is also passing through the Yorkshire Dales National Park on the first day of racing (from Leeds to Harrogate), giving spectators a double dose of some of the best landscapes in the country.

For more details on the Yorkshire Départ, go to http://letour.yorkshire.com

Businesses and cycling organisations are also gearing up for the first Peak District Cycling Festival this September 7-15, part of a campaign to make the Peak District a premier destination for cycling. For more details, go to http://www.visitpeakdistrict.com/events/peakdistrictcyclefest.aspx