Katie's Diary

Le Grand Depart

27th June 2014

Yorkshire is getting ready for one of the summer highlights - the Tour de France Grand Départ 2014.

The Tour de France is the third largest sporting event in the world, established in 1903. Taking place over three weeks, cyclists ride 3500 km, teams competing for the yellow jersey in July each year with twelve million spectators lining the route to watch the famed publicity caravan and to give their support. 2,000 journalists and photographers cover the Tour de France and it’s broadcast to 190 countries through 85 TV channels, giving a worldwide audience of three billion … so you could say it’s a big event!

More than 680,000 spectators are expected to line the route of the first stage alone, many standing for five hours to see the 200 riders chase the 185-strong caravan of race and sponsors' vehicles, enough evidence alone to capture the excitement of the event.

The Caravan is a wonderful aspect of the event and a great family attraction. A procession of 180 floats and vehicles drives ahead of the racing action. It sets off two hours before the start of the race and takes 40 minutes to pass. Caps, badges, plastic bags full of memorabilia are thrown into the crowds as the caravan passes, giving people the opportunity to grab a souvenir of Le Tour, it really gets the excitement going.

The Tour de France Grand Départ will start at 11.10am on the Headrow, opposite the Leeds Art Gallery, on Saturday 5 July 2014. Two hours before, at 9.10am, the publicity caravan will set off from the Headrow and begin the journey.

You can see the full route of the Grand Depart in the video

Overall it should make for a fantastic weekend and one that hopefully everyone can enjoy!


Disability Sport Yorkshire

Disability Sport Yorkshire works with partners, regionally and nationally, to bring greater opportunities for people with disabilities giving everyone more sports, more choices and the chance to have a say in how sport is planned and played.

Disability Sport Yorkshire produces an annual calendar of activity and sports development days, coaching courses and competitive events for people of all abilities and age groups. To make it simple, below is a video clip from the English Federation of Disabled Sport highlighting some of the work they do:

Finally, as well as supporting inclusion and increasing participation of disabled people in sport, both federations hope to increase the number of Paralympic stars such these wonderful people to the side and Lora Turnham below.

With continued work and dedication, hopefully we will see numbers of all athletes grow in years to come!


Yorkshire won the right to stage Le Grand Depart because of its promised legacy. The Yorkshire organisers, Welcome 2 Yorkshire promised inclusivity for all. This should give all athletes, amateur, professional able bodies and disabled, the chance to enjoy and compete in the sporting activity that they love.

There are a number of excellent organisations that help to do this and assist the vulnerable and disabled in realising their dreams and aspirations.

Some of the fantastic organisations include:

English Federation of Disability Sport

The Federation is based in London and Manchester and is designed to support athletes of all disabilities. The English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) is the strategic lead in sport and physical activity for disabled people in England. In addition to being a funded National Partner of Sport England, EFDS, brings together all the main disability support groups including National Disability Sport Organisations and Regional Federations.

EFDS works hard to bring together the energy and expertise which exists within member organisations and partners in England. This unique position in England enables us to be the authoritative voice for disabled people in sport and physical activity.

The main focus is on the real benefits for disabled people by taking part in sport and physical activity. However, we also actively encourage and enable disabled people to take part in all aspects of sport, whether as volunteers or paid employees. This includes taking up key roles as volunteers, leaders, coaches etc.

Le Grand Depart

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