Utrecht has started the countdown to the Tour de France. For the coming three months visitors are treated to a varied programme of Tour-related activities. Here's a taste of what's on offer.
Jaarbeursplein in Utrecht. Photo © Holland-Cycling.com
The start of the Tour de France might still seem a long way off for most of us, but in Utrecht the activities in the run up to 4 July have already started. The programme includes a broad variety of festivities and cultural activities and of course many cycling events.
The carillon of the Dom tower will play French chansons, songs about cycling and of course the official anthem of Le Grand Départ: Bon Voyage. Museums in Utrecht offer a number of Tour-related exhibitions. The Dick Bruna Huis (Miffy Museum) has the 'Sport is Play' exhibition for the youngest generation of cyclists. You can even have your bike blessed, which might come in handy if you want to take part in one of the more challenging cycle tours!
Overview of cycling events
Holland is a real cycling nation, so it's no wonder that there is a multitude of cycling events in and around Utrecht. Some are aimed at really experienced cyclists who can rival the professionals, others are aimed at everyday cyclists and families. Here's an overview of the cycling events on offer:
|Date||Event||Type of event|
|14-17 May||Cyclosportive Paris - Utrecht||Multi-day tour for experienced cyclists.|
|14 May||Leidsche Rijn Ascension Day Cycling Tour||One-day tour for the family (20 km).|
|23 May - 14 June||Cyclosportive Utrecht - Neeltje Jans||Official route of stage 2 of the Tour as a 1 or 2-day trip.|
|26 - 30 May||Grand Débat: Cycling from Paris to Utrecht||Cycling the Sint Maarten trail from Paris to Utrecht in 5 days (120 km per day) combined with debates about the future of Utrecht.|
|30 May||Cyclosportive Middelburg - Utrecht||Stage 2 of the Tour in opposite direction (180 km).|
|30-31 May||Para-cycling weekend Utrecht||International para-cycling event.|
|31 May||Time Trial Championship Utrecht||Race in Leidsche Rijn in different categories (16 km).|
|5 June||Time Trial Baambrugge||Race along the Amsterdam-Rijnkanaal in different categories (13.5 km).|
|6 June||Uphill Time Trial||Ascending the biggest parking garage in Utrecht (Uithof) as fast as possible.|
|7 June||Dutch Masters Championship||Dutch championship for cyclists over 30 in several age groups.|
|13-14 June||Utrecht Cycling Weekend 2015||Cycling festivities introducing professional cycling to the public. With cultural activities and music.|
|14 June||Cyclosportive De Dom||Scenic cycle tours through the Green Hart region (40 or 130 km).|
|19-20 June||Tour of the Soul||Cycle tour of Utrecht Churches. You can have your bicycle blessed in advance on the Domplein.|
|20 June||Time Trial Nymphaea||Race in different categories in Breukelen (20 km).|
|21 June||Tourtocht Hartfalen||Charity ride on a tandem from Zeist to Utrecht to raise money for research into hereditary heart failure (40 km).|
|21 June||The Battle - Spinning Event||Official route of the first time trial of the Tour de France on spinning bikes.|
|21 June||The Battle - Dutch Slowbking Championship Finals||Finishing the track of 11 m as slowly as possible without touching the ground.|
|28-30 June||Utrecht - Paris - Utrecht||Multi-day tour for experienced cyclists in groups or individually.|
|28 June||Official Cyclosportive Utrecht||One-day tour for individuals or teams - 35 km, 75 km, 110 km or 150 km - from the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht.|
|1-3 July||De Fietsrepubliek: Tour & Architecture||Guided cycle tour to see Utrecht's modern architecture.|
|12 July||#Weownyellow festival||Cycling festival for all levels of female riders from around the world.|
To find out more about the all the festivities and cultural events in Utrecht, go the complete programme of Utrecht2015 (Update November 2016: website no longer available).
The Tour is a great opportunity to come to Utrecht to enjoy the many cycling possibilities that Utrecht and the region have to offer - the region is well worth visiting at any time. You'll find all the information you need on our Utrecht pages.