Countdown begins to 2016 race
The Tour de Yorkshire returns to the county for a second time next year. Cycling fans have begun their countdowns to race day following the announcement of the official route this week.
Over three days, cyclists will travel across many of Yorkshire’s picturesque landscapes with millions expected to line the streets in support of some of the sport’s biggest names.
The first stage will set off from the Saturday Market in Beverley.
Riders will parade around the town – which also played host to the race in 2015 – then through North Bar before heading North West to the Official Start at Beverley Racecourse.
Taking in the Wolds, Tadcaster and heading north past Wetherby into the Yorkshire Dales, the first day concludes with a 12km loop back to the A65 and round to Settle town centre for an expected sprint finish in the town.
Stage Two marks an important milestone for the Tour de Yorkshire, as the women’s race will be held on exactly the same route as the men’s race. The women’s race will start in the morning and the men’s race will begin in the early afternoon.
The route begins in Otley, home town of current women’s Road World Champion Lizzie Armitstead, whilst the official start is at Pool-in-Wharfedale.
Passing Harewood, riders will head south past Pontefract before they finish in Doncaster, South Yorkshire.
The final stage will run from Middlesbrough down to Thirsk, on to Sutton Bank and over the moors to Whitby before finishing along Marine Drive in Scarborough.
Speaking at the route, Sir Gary Verity said: “For next year’s race we’ve selected routes which showcase Yorkshire’s stunning scenery and will also deliver an excellent sporting event.
“Our first race was phenomenally successful, bringing 1.5 million spectators to the roadside, generating over £50million for the regional economy and being broadcast around the world – not many races can say that.
“The stages we’ve revealed today are eagerly anticipated by fans, riders and teams and we have all the ingredients for another spectacular race which will bring the crowds back out.”
Christian Prudhomme, Tour de France’s director, also gave his backing to the return of the race.
“I am always happy to be back in Yorkshire and today marks an important milestone for the race,” he added.
“Feedback from the teams and riders last year was excellent.This year we have three stages which together create a race right to the end. The final King of the Mountain points are barely six kilometres from the final finish line.”