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Gérardmer / Mulhouse

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D-100: England goes yellow



The countdown has begun for the county of Yorkshire, whose annual cultural festival has started 100 days before the start of the Tour de France in Leeds. In the entire region, and even right down to London, references to the Big Loop are starting to make their appearance in increasing numbers...

Faithful to their reputation abroad for eccentricity, the English have in fact kicked off their festivities to mark 100 days before the Grand Start of Le Tour 101 days before the start scheduled on 5th July! Indeed, since yesterday, the inhabitants of London who use hire bicycles for their travel may be lucky enough to pedal on a very special machine: to celebrate the 101st edition of the Tour de France, 101 yellow bicycles have been added to the fleet of the 10,000 self-service two-wheelers. Furthermore, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, appropriately summed up the privilege of inaugurating them: “Much like the clamour for the golden tickets in Charlie and the Chocolate factory people across the capital will now be on a frantic search for these beautiful yellow bikes. I am sure Londoners will share my excitement at once again welcoming the Tour de France to London”.
Before arriving in the English capital, the riders will be awaited in Yorkshire to start the grand cycling saga of July. Bernard Hinault, who came to scout the route, started with a warm-up on the bike in the company of brothers Dean and Russell Downing on the Cragg Vale climb, England's longest slope, then tested the steep ascent up Holme Moss, where ambitions could be dashed or confirmed just before the finish in Sheffield. “It's a lot harder than I thought. In my opinion, the rider who takes the Yellow Jersey here will be one of the main contenders,” declared the five times winner.
This morning, the route of the first stage was reconnoitred by the Tour de France delegation, with a visit to Harewood House, the 18th century mansion where the start of the race will officially be celebrated. Honoured by the choice of his domain, the owner, Lord Harewood, pointed out that, “the colours of Harewood are black and yellow and, what's more, they have been for much longer than the Tour de France!” To welcome the pack in a suitable setting, the English garden will be entirely planted with yellow flowers, in order to inspire the riders setting off towards Harrogate. Furthermore, it was to inaugurate the finishing line where the first Tour de France Yellow Jersey of 2014 will be awarded and to kick off the Yorkshire Festival that Bernard Hinault met up with Brian Robinson, the first English winner of a stage on the Le Tour in 1958. For these three months devoted to culture, Yorkshire has decided to give a Tour de France accent to Y14.

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Will the three stages in the Vosges determine the overall winner?

  • Yes, they’ll confirm Nibali’s domination9.61%
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  • No, Porte will beat them all in the time trial11.97%
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