Route announcement made 100 days before start of Tour
After an incredible start to last year’s Tour de France, it was only a matter of time until Yorkshire firmly printed itself on the cycling map.
And now, following the announcement of the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire route last week, it seems the time is drawing ever closer for the county to live up to its growing reputation.
Team Sky pro-rider, Ben Swift, was joined last week by fellow Yorkshireman Brian Robinson – the first Brit to win a stage of the Tour de France, to unveil the official route which will begin in Bridlington on Friday 1st May, ending in Leeds two days later.
The highly anticipated announcement was welcomed by cycling enthusiasts across the world who have been forced to wait following the declaration of host cities and towns last year.
Stage one will take in much of the Yorkshire coastline as well as the iconic North York Moors, before finishing on the Scarborough seafront, 174km down the line.
The last section of the first day will be particularly tough on the riders, who will be climbing out of Robin Hood’s Bay, which poses a 1.5km long challenge with an average gradient of 10.3 per cent.
Stage two, on Saturday 2nd May, will be one for the sprinters, starting at the imposing Selby Abbey before concluding with a circuit of York, the city which of course witnessed amazing scenes when the Tour de France arrived last year.
Finally, riders will give their all to finish the final leg, from Wakefield to Leeds, and are set to complete part of the Tour de France route in reverse when they arrive in Holmfirth.
The longest continual descent of the tour will be at the iconic Cragg Vale, before cyclists pass the finish line in what is expected to be a packed-out Roundhay Park.
Tour de Yorkshire is being organised by Welcome to Yorkshire and Amaury Sport Organisation (A.S.O.), with support from British Cycling and local authorities throughout the county.
Christian Prudhomme, Director of the Tour de France at A.S.O, said: “After the grandest of Grand Départs of the Tour de France, we were keen to return to Yorkshire.
“With its stunning landscapes, iconic cities and tough climbs, Yorkshire offers all the ingredients needed for a great cycling race.
“The welcome we received in Yorkshire in July 2014 was simply spectacular and I am very much looking forward to returning there in May for the Tour de Yorkshire.”
The Tour de Yorkshire will be an annual event and the organisers hope it will grow year on year to be one of the biggest events in the cycling calendar and position Yorkshire as the heartland of cycling in Europe.
Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, added: “Before the Grand Départ had even finished people all across Yorkshire were asking when we can have more cycling.
“The Tour de Yorkshire will bring back many of the world’s top cycling teams and there will be an opportunity for ordinary people to ride the same roads on the same day in the sportive.
“And this is a free event to watch so there is an opportunity for everyone in the county to be part of Tour de Yorkshire in one way or another.”