Tour de France 2014: Stage-by-stage guide
The Grand Depart of the world's most prestigious stage race was hosted by Yorkshire as the Tour de France returned to England for the first time since 2007.
The opening stage took the 198 riders from Leeds to Harrogate via the Yorkshire Dales while Sunday's second stage saw the peloton ride from York to Sheffield, via Holme Moss before a third stage in England finished on The Mall in London.
The 101st edition of the three-week race then headed to France, and finishes in Paris on Sunday, 27 July after 2,277 miles and 21 stages, made up of nine flat stages, five hilly stages, six mountain stages with five altitude finishes, and one individual time trial.
Britain's defending champion Chris Froome is out, while Italy's Vincenczo Nibali has stolen a march on his rivals for the overall victory by mastering the cobbles on stage five.
Froome's compatriot and Team Sky team-mate Geraint Thomas picks out the Bastille Day climb to La Planche des Belles Filles on stage 10 and the final day in the mountains on stage 18 as key.
Saturday, 5 July - stage 1: Leeds - Harrogate, 190.5km (118.3 miles)
Winner: Marcel Kittel (Ger/Giant-Shimano) - report: Cavendish crashes as Kittel takes yellow jersey.
A grand day out for around one million people in Yorkshire ends on a sour note as Mark Cavendish, Britain's big hope of a stage win, crashes 200m from the finish line. Germany's Marcel Kittel stays upright to win in Harrogate on a day when 42-year-old veteran Jens Voigt shows he still has the legs for a breakaway.
Sunday, 6 July - stage 2: York - Sheffield, 201km (124.9 miles)
Winner: Vincenzo Nibali (Ita/Astana) - report: Nibali wins to take yellow jersey.
Nine categorised climbs soften up the peloton, with the ascent of Jenkin Road seeing the main General Classification riders Vincenzo Nibali, Alberto Contador and defending champion Chris Froome racing to its summit. Peter Sagan, tipped by many to win the stage, races clear on the descent but he is caught. Nibali breaks clear in the final two kilometres to win as Yorkshire says goodbye to the Tour.
Monday, 7 July - stage 3: Cambridge - London, 155km (96.3 miles)
Winner: Marcel Kittel (Ger/Giant-Shimano) - report: Kittel triumphs again as Nibali stays in yellow
With the absence of the injured Mark Cavendish, Marcel Kittel looks nailed on to win the sprint finish on The Mall and the German does not disappoint. Britain's defending champion Chris Froome stays safe and remains two seconds behind race leader Vincenzo Nibali as the race leaves England and heads to France. But it will be back, says Tour director Christian Prudhomme.
Tuesday, 8 July - stage 4: Le Touquet-Paris-Plage - Lille Metropole, 163.5km (101.6 miles)
Winner: Marcel Kittel (Ger/Giant-Shimano) - report: Kittel wins third stage of the race as Froome crashes
Marcel Kittel delivers a brilliant sprint finish to secure his third stage win of the race as the race as the race moves into France. Britain's defending champion Chris Froome crashes after just five kilometres, bruising his left hip and wrist. However he continues after receiving medical attention to reach the finish and remain two seconds behind overall race leader Vincenzo Nibali.
Wednesday, 9 July - stage 5: Ypres - Arenberg Porte du Hainaut, 155km (96.3 miles)
Winner: Lars Boom (Ned/Belkin) - report: Nibali in charge as Froome pulls out
A dramatic day in wet conditions sees defending champion Chris Froome, already suffering from a crash on stage four, abandon the race after crashing twice more - before the notorious cobbles.
Lars Boom, a specialist in the Paris-Roubaix classic, a one-day race which uses the same cobbled sections, breaks clear with about 4km to go and holds on to take the stage, but the real winner is Vincenzo Nibali who finishes 44 seconds ahead of Peter Sagan and 2min 37sec ahead of biggest rival Alberto Contador.
Thursday, 10 July - stage 6: Arras - Reims, 194km (120.5 miles)
Winner: Andre Greipel (Ger/Lotto-Belisol) - report: More crashes as Greipel wins sprint finish
Crosswinds and rain combine to provide another tough day on the bike as several crashes litter the stage. Team Sky lose another rider as Xabier Zandio hits the deck and cannot continue. Alberto Contador's Tinkoff-Saxo team-mate Jesus Hernandez also crashes out. Andre Greipel sprints to his first stage win of the race as Vincenzo Nibali retains the overall lead.
Friday, 11 July - stage 7: Epernay - Nancy, 234.5km (145.7 miles)
Winner: Matteo Trentin (Ita/Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) - report: Trentin edges Sagan as Nibali retains yellow
A predictable opening 215km gives way to a chaotic finish as Matteo Trentin wins after a photo-finish in Nancy. Peter Sagan replicates his stage two tactics in Sheffield, racing clear off the final climb but is again caught. A drier day for the riders and the General Classification remains unchanged.
Saturday, 12 July - stage 8: Tomblaine - Gerardmer La Mauselaine, 161km (100 miles)
Winner: Blel Kadri (Fra/AG2R) - report: Kadri wins summit finish as Nibali tracks Contador
A rare breakaway victory for Blel Kadri delights French fans in the Vosges rain as he takes control of the King of the Mountains jersey. But the big battle in the peloton sees Alberto Contador claw three seconds back on rival and race leader Vincenzo Nibali in the contest for yellow. Nibali tracks the Spaniard and is content to finish in his wake. Team Sky's Richie Porte is up to third while Britain's Simon Yates impresses in the break.
Sunday, 13 July - stage 9: Gerardmer - Mulhouse, 170km (105.6 miles)
Winner: Tony Martin (Ger/Omega Phama-Quick Step) - report: Martin storms home as Gallopin takes yellow
German Tony Martin, more famed for his time-trialling skills, powers away from the rest in a stage featuring six climbs. The general classification is shaken up with Vincenzo Nibali, who began the day in yellow, and main rival Alberto Contador allowing a 28-strong group to head out in pursuit. Frenchman Tony Gallopin takes advantage to supplant Nibali at the top of the overall standings on the eve of Bastille Day.
Monday, 14 July - stage 10: Mulhouse - La Planche des Belles Filles, 161.5km (100.4 miles)
Winner: Vincenzo Nibali (Ita/Astana) - Report: Contador withdraws as Nibali regains yellow
A day of high drama as Spanish contender Alberto Contador fails in his attempts to rejoin the race after a heavy fall. The two-time champion withdraws and is later revealed to have fractured his leg in the crash. Vincenzo Nibali takes full advantage, snatching back yellow with a commanding ride and moving more than two minutes clear of nearest rivals Team Sky's Richie Porte and Movistar leader Alejandro Valverde.
Tuesday, 15 July - rest day: Besancon
The first of the race's two rest days. Geraint takes us through the opening 10 stages and assesses the state of the race.
Wednesday, 16 July - stage 11: Besancon - Oyonnax, 187.5km (116.5 miles)
Winner: Tony Gallopin (Fra/Lotto-Belisol) - Report: France's Gallopin takes stage win
After winning the yellow jersey on stage nine and losing it on stage 10, Tony Gallopin's eventful Tour continues with a first stage win. The Frenchman seems doomed when his solo break is caught in the final five kilometres, but he kicks again to break clear of Peter Sagan, Michael Rogers and Michal Kwiatkowski. Vincenzo Nibali maintains his healthy lead of more than two minutes in the general classification.
Thursday, 17 July - stage 12: Bourg-en-Bresse - Saint Etienne, 185.5km (115.3 miles)
Winner: Alexander Kristoff (Nor/Katusha) - Report: Sagan edged out as Kristoff wins first Tour stage
A bunch sprint and a first Tour victory for Katusha's Alexander Kristoff. The Norwegian edges Peter Sagan who continues to dominate the green points jersey classification but is yet to win a stage in the 101st edition of the race. No change in the overall standings with Vincenzo Nibali continuing to lead the way.
Friday, 18 July - stage 13: Saint Etienne - Chamrousse, 197.5km (122.7 miles)
Winner: Vincenzo Nibali (Ita/Astana) - Report: Nibali crushes rivals to win third stage
Is the Tour over? Italy's Vincenzo Nibali underlines his superiority with a commanding victory in the Alps that extends his lead in the race to more than three minutes over Spain's Alejandro Valverde. Team Sky's plan B, Richie Porte, loses nine minutes after struggling on the final climb in searing heat, so it's back to the drawing board for the British-based team.
Saturday, 19 July - stage 14: Grenoble - Risoul, 177km (110 miles)
Winner: Rafal Majka (Pol/Tinkoff-Saxo) - Report: Majka wins maiden stage as Nibali tightens grip
A superb solo ride up to the summit finish at Risoul gives Rafal Majka, a man who only found out he was making his Tour debut a few days before the race started, his maiden win. Vincenzo Nibali's excellent form in the mountains continues as he finishes second to put more time into his rivals and he is now four minutes, 37 seconds clear of Alejandro Valverde.
Sunday, 20 July - stage 15: Tallard - Nimes, 222km (138 miles)
Winner: Alexander Kristoff (Nor/Katusha) - Report: Bauer broken by Kristoff's late spurt
Jack Bauer spends 220km in the break but slips from first to 10th in the final 20m as the sprinters time their race to the line to perfection. Katusha's Alexander Kristoff is the first over the line in sunny Nimes after rainstorms soak the peloton throughout the stage. No change in the overall standings with Vincenzo Nibali retaining his healthy lead.
Monday, 21 July - rest day: Carcassonne
The second and final rest day and another piece from Geraint assessing the state of the race.
Tuesday, 22 July - stage 16: Carcassonne - Bagneres du Luchon, 237.5km (147.6 miles)
Winner: Michael Rogers (Aus/Saxo-Tinkoff) Report: Rogers wins maiden stage as Nibali retains lead
The peloton allowed a 21-man breakaway to escape early in the race and it moved 12 minutes clear by the time they reached the final climb, Port de Bales, with 35km to go.
The breakaway then split, with a group of five, including Michael Rogers and Thomas Voeckler, went clear before a burst of pace from Rogers at 4.5km proved decisive. The Australian went on to win his first Tour de France stage while Vincenzo Nibali retained his lead in the general classification.
Wednesday, 23 July - stage 17: Saint-Gaudens - Saint-Lary Pla d'Adet, 124.5km (77.4 miles)
Geraint's view: We went to see the final climb on this stage after the Criterium du Dauphine and it's a tough ascent. The climbs before it, added to the fact it's the last week, makes this one of the hardest day's of this year's race. It will be a big General Classification battle and all the main contenders will have done a recce of this stage. Expect lots of aggressive riding on the final ascent.
Geraint's one to watch: Pierre Rolland - the French climbing specialist may have an eye on winning the polka dot jersey and today is a perfect day to pick up big points.
Thursday, 24 July - stage 18: Pau - Hautacam, 145.5km (90.4 miles)
Geraint's view: The final battle in the mountains takes in the iconic Col du Tourmalet before the final showdown on Hautacam. Expect Alberto Contador and Vincenzo Nibali to be all guns blazing if they are first and second in the standings.
Geraint's one to watch: Richie Porte - it's one last chance for the Australian to try and take some time off his rivals in the mountains.
Friday, 25 July - stage 19: Mauburguet Pays du Val d'Adour - Bergerac, 208.5km (129.6 miles)
Geraint's view: After three tough days in the mountains, the sprinters will come back to the fore. There might be a few desperate guys, those who are yet to win a stage, who are willing to take a risk on the climb just before the finish to try and break clear but I expect a bunch sprint in Bergerac.
Geraint's one to watch: Arnaud Demare - the French road race champion has been chosen ahead of Nacer Bouhani to be FDJ's lead sprinter and if he hasn't won a stage yet, the pressure will be rising.
Saturday, 26 July - stage 20: Bergerac - Perigueux (individual time trial), 54km (33.6 miles)
Geraint's view: Because this is the penultimate stage and we don't have to save energy for a sprint finish in Sunday's finale on the Champs Elysees in Paris, it will be down to each individual Team Sky rider whether to go full gas, although, obviously, Richie Porte's effort will be dictated by the state of the race. If you do have a sprinter in your team and eyes on a last-stage victory, you may go easy to save your legs.
Geraint's one to watch: Tony Martin may ride for Mark Cavendish's Omega Pharma - Quick-Step team but he is a four-time world time trial champion and will be given licence to go for the win.
Sunday, 27 July - stage 21: Evry - Paris Champs-Elysees 137.5km (85.4 miles)
Geraint's view: And so to the familiar end, the fabled circuits of Paris. The opening kilometres into the French capital are usually ridden at pedestrian pace before the speed is increased on each circuit and you always forget that it's harder than you expected it would be. Mentally, we can switch off a little bit because we know it's the last day and we've done the hard yards but we still have to keep Richie Porte safe because he's still got to get across the finish line.
Geraint's one to watch: Marcel Kittel - he ended Mark Cavendish's run of four successive victories last year and with Cav out of the race, the German will be favourite.
General classification: Yellow jersey - awarded to the overall leader of the race at the end of each stage - based on time.
Points classification: Green jersey - awarded to the man who has accumulated the most points (see below for breakdown of points).
Mountains classification: Polka dot jersey - awarded to the best climber in the race with points awarded for the difficulty of each ascent.
Best young rider: White jersey - awarded to the quickest overall rider under the age of 25.
Team classification: Yellow helmets - awarded to the team with the lowest aggregate time, taken from three best-placed riders.
Points are awarded to the first 15 riders to finish each stage, and in intermediate sprints.
Flat stages: 45, 35, 30, 26, 22, 20, 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4 and 2 points.
Medium mountain: 30, 25, 22, 19, 17, 15, 13, 11, 9, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3 and 2 points.
High mountain: 20, 17, 15, 13, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 point.
Individual time trial: 20, 17, 15, 13, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 point.
Intermediate sprints: 20, 17, 15, 13, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 point.
Geraint Thomas @GeraintThomas86 was speaking to BBC Sport's Patrick Jennings.
Listen back to an interview with Geraint and a full Tour de France preview in the 'Bespoke' podcast, first broadcast on BBC Radio 5 live on Wednesday 2 July, from 2100 - 2230 BST
Tour de France 2014
- Venue: Yorkshire, Cambridge, Essex, London and France
- Date: 5-27 July
Coverage: Live text commentary of every stage on BBC Sport website and radio commentary on BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra