2019 Grand Depart

Grand Départ Classic 2021

Missing cycling events? Join our peloton and take part in one of the UK’s first cycling events in 2021!

After a year full of event cancellations, here's your opportunity to join our peloton in one of the first UK-based cycling events of the year. You’ll have the chance to take on the first stage of the 2014 Tour de France from Leeds to Harrogate.

Sign up now to secure your place for September this year.

Secure your place

What is the Grand Départ Classic: Yorkshire edition?

The Grand Départ Classic is Prostate Cancer UK’s very own cycling event that gives you the opportunity to cycle the first road stage of the Tour de France. Due to the disruptions we’ve faced from the pandemic, we’ve rescheduled this year’s event to September and we’ll be keeping it local.

The Tour de France has only visited home soil on two occasions. We’ll be taking you on a trip down memory lane by cycling from Leeds to Harrogate on a route that was described as the ‘grandest of Grand Départs’.

It's a fabulous experience, with an amazing cast of characters that participate and support your participation. Great camaraderie, great ride, great times...
David Lundholm 2018 rider
2019 Grand Depart 4

What's the plan?

The event will run from 10 – 12 September 2021, with the ride taking place on Saturday 11 September. We expect over 150 riders to join us on this adventure like no other! We’ll take care of the event logistics, from booking the accommodation, to signing the route and providing feed stations en route.

Friday 10 September - The event begins once you arrive at the hotel. You’ll check in and have time to relax before we gather for the jersey presentation and pre-ride dinner.

Saturday 11 September – Ride day. We’ll set off at 7am, allowing you 12 hours to complete the ride. The celebrations will then begin that evening at the post-ride dinner.

Sunday 12 September – With hopefully not too sore legs in the morning you’ll be free to make your way home after breakfast.

Start to finish a very well organised event, not a sportive, a family.
Gary Evans 2016, 2017 & 2018 rider

The 2021 route

September’s route will start in Leeds, a city with a rich history and the unofficial capital of Yorkshire. You’ll finish the ride in the beautiful town of Harrogate, earning itself the nickname ‘The English Spa’ through a booming tourist industry.

The distance in total will be a 190km loop of Yorkshire, taking in the beautiful scenes of Buttertubs Pass and Robin Cross Hill on a mainly a flat stage.

2019 Grand Depart

We'll look after you and your bike throughout the event, from the moment you arrive at the hotel on the Friday afternoon, to the moment you say farewell on Sunday.

The support we provide includes: 

  • Two night’s accommodation
  • All meals from the Friday evening through to Sunday morning
  • The full Ride Day experience which includes a fully signed route, GPX route file, feed stations, cycle guides, mechanical and medical support.
  • Your exclusive Prostate Cancer UK cycle jersey and finishers medal.
  • Professional rider numbers to wear and keep, confirming your unique entry 

There is a £99 registration fee and you can choose from one of the following two options:

Option 1: Minimum sponsorship

  • Pledge to raise a minimum of £650 in sponsorship (excluding Gift Aid).
  • The first £500 must be raised by 31 July for your place on the event to be confirmed. 

Option 2: Self-funder

  • In addition to the registration fee, pay a further £331 to cover your full event costs. This additional payment is required by 31 July.
  • We would ask you to raise as much as you can in sponsorship, with a recommended minimum of £250.

How tough is it to cycle a stage of the Tour de France?

Typically a first stage of the Tour de France tends to be flatter than the rest of the Tour, with a distance averaging 190km. 

Many of our 2019 riders started cycling again for the first time since their childhood and successfully completed the ride. If you are concerned about its difficulty, give Jermayne from the Sporting Events team a call on 0203 310 7034. He completed last year's route as well as the year before, and can tell you want to expect in 2020.

How fast will I have to cycle?

You'll need to cycle at a minimum speed of 12 mph to successfully complete the stage. Riders will begin the stage at approximately 7am, and have until around 7pm to cross the finish line.

What support will I get to help me prepare?

We work alongside renowned coaching company RunningWithUs to provide you with expert training plans and advice on a wide range of topics from getting started, ride kit, bike handling, group riding, strength and conditioning, nutrition and more. You'll also be able to speak to the coaches at RunningWithUs throughout your training to ensure you are fully fit on ride day.

What type of bike will I need?

We recommend using a road bike to help with speed, style and efficiency.

What happens if the event doesn’t go ahead due to Covid-19? 

If the event in September 2021 cannot go ahead, we will assess the situation and consider postponing the event until the following year. If that is not an option, the event will be cancelled. If it’s postponed or cancelled, riders will be able to receive a refund of their registration fee or roll their place over to the 2022 event in Copenhagen. Together with any sponsorship money they’ve raised so far. 

How tough is it to cycle a stage of the Tour de France? 

September’s route is considered a flat stage, of approximately 190km in distance and generally flat terrain. The region of Yorkshire Brittany will have some inclines however, including Buttertubs Pass. 
Many of our previous riders started cycling again for the first time since their childhood and successfully completed a stage. We’ll provide you with plenty of training support and advice to ensure you can complete a suitable training programme ahead of the event. 

What will be the ability of riders taking part, as I don’t want to be left behind! 

There'll be a wide range of abilities, though the majority of riders will be taking on this distance for the very first time, attempting to complete the stage in between 10 – 12 hours. A small number of club riders at the front will be aiming to complete the ride in around 6 hours. 
If you’re keen to say hello to riders before signing up, make sure you join the Facebook Group and introduce yourself. 

Is the event on closed roads? 

The Grand Départ Classic: Yorkshire Edition is on open roads, and despite the passing traffic, the route will not pass through any of the busier roads whilst still trying to remain as loyal as possible to the route. 

I live locally, how does this work for me? 

If you live in and around Yorkshire and you’d like to take part as a ‘day rider’, please get in touch with us for further details on the itinerary and costs 

What is the format of the ride? 

It will be a sportive format, which means everyone will be able to cycle at their own pace throughout the day. Riders will not be grouped together throughout the stage. 

How fast will I have to cycle? 

You'll need to cycle at a minimum speed of 12 mph to successfully complete the stage. Riders will begin the stage at approximately 7am and have approximately 12 hours to cross the finishing line. 

What support will be available during the ride? 

The ride will be fully signposted, and feature cycle guides throughout to ensure everyone has someone to ride with. Cycle guides will be able to offer medical and mechanical support, with vehicles available close by if further assistance is required. 
There will be feed stations at approximately every 50km, allowing you to take a breather and refuel, ready for the next leg.

What type of bike will I need? 

We recommend using a road bike to help with speed, style and efficiency. For further advice check out this guide or get in touch with the team at Prostate Cancer UK. 

Jersey competition

In the spirit of the Tour de France's four jerseys, we've been inspired to create our very own Grand Départ Classic jersey competition. Our four jerseys will each be awarded on the eve of the ride: 

  • Yellow jersey: overall top fundraiser on the day before the ride
  • Polka jersey: leading fundraiser two months before the ride
  • Green jersey: first person to raise over £500 in sponsorship
  • White jersey: top fundraiser under the age of 36

There will also be a team classification award (those in a team of four or more) to recognise the top fundraising team.

View the leaderboard here