Location: Knowsley to Llandudno
Knowsley hosted an individual time trial last year, which was won by Sir Bradley Wiggins, and the 2014 edition’s second stage will begin there. Early on in the stage the peloton will cross the River Mersey on the Runcorn Bridge, which will provide a dramatic backdrop, and then make its way into north Wales, running close to Chester and Wrexham. The climbers will be tested in the hills and valleys of north Wales, on the north-eastern edge of Snowdonia National Park. The finale of the stage will be one of the 2014 Tour’s highlights as the riders go through the famous Conwy Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site which splits the road, before a final punishing ascent around Great Orme that leads on towards the finish on Llandudno seafront.
Best place to watch
The Great Orme is likely to be a decisive point on the stage and securing a vantage point there is a must. It’s a beautiful and rugged headland, and perfect for a picnic.
Did you know?
This will be the first time a major bike race has visited since 1993. In 1976 Bill Nickson won a stage of the Milk Race here – and this year he returns as a DS for Velosure Giordana. Oh, and Llandudno’s pier is Wales’ longest, at 700m.