Cycling Mania Returns to Yorkshire

Tykes and Bikes!

Cycling mania returns to Yorkshire in May with the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire, a three-day spectacular inspired by the phenomenal success of last year’s Tour de France grand depart.

The event starts on Friday 1st May in Bridlington and ends on Sunday 3rd May in Leeds after taking in our local spots such as Hebden Bridge, Oxenhope, Haworth, Goose Eye and Ilkley.

Excitement is building for the race, and all of Yorkshire is expecting a boost to trade as well as more exposure on national television. Plans are for it to be an annual event on the cycling calendar.

The three-day race hopes to build on the success of the Tour de France when an estimated three million people watched the Grand Départ over two days in Yorkshire, with the economic benefit to the region put at £102m.

yorkshire cycling

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “Before the Grand Depart 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.”

The race is organised by Welcome to Yorkshire and Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO), organiser of the Tour de France, with support from British Cycling and local authorities throughout the county.

Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour de France at ASO, said: “After the grandest of Grand Departs 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 in May for the Tour de Yorkshire.”

With riders from all over the world, Stage one starts in Bridlington and ends in Scarborough. Stage two begins in Selby and ends in York, with a women’s circuit event also in York. The final stage on Sunday 3 May begins at Wakefield and ends at Roundhay Park, Leeds.

A sportive, The Tour de Yorkshire Ride, will take place on the morning of the final stage, all on open roads and using the same roads as the Tour de Yorkshire pro ride. Some of the roads were used at lastyear’s Grand Départ. This is a unique opportunity for sportive riders in the UK to experience the Tour de France legacy and to pave the way for the pro riders. Three distances and a women-only Cycletta will be available.

Bernard Hinault, five times Tour de France winner, enthused: “The Tour de France has had a sportive alongside it for many years and it’s a unique experience for amateur riders to ride at L’Etape, so to have this similar experience available at the Tour de Yorkshire will be magnifique and something all keen riders will want to be part of.”

The Tour de Yorkshire Ride has international cycling’s most experienced delivery team behind it, organised by the Tour de France owners ASO, British mass participation company Human Race, and Welcome to Yorkshire.

On the 174-km Stage 1, riders will start in Bridlington and pass through spectacular coastal scenery of Flamborough Head Heritage Coast before turning away from the coast into the
North York Moors National Park, through Dalby Forest towards Pickering, back to the coast at Whitby, and south to Robin Hood’s Bay to the finish line on the seafront at Scarborough.

Stage 2 starts outside Selby Abbey, taking in much of the Yorkshire Wolds, then towards Market Weighton, through North Newbald and on to Beverley, turning north to Malton, then on to Stamford Bridge. Spectators will have the chance to see a circuit of York and a dramatic finish in the city. There will also be a dedicated women’s event on a circuit through York on the same
day.

On Stage 3, starting in Wakefield, riders will travel south to Barnsley then head to Holmfirth to pick up the Grand Départ route in reverse, racing to Ripponden before riding the Cragg Vale, which in the Tour de France was the country’s longest continual climb and now becomes the longest continual descent. The riders will then make their way to Hebden Bridge, Oxenhope and through the famous cobbled streets of Haworth. After a steep climb at Goose Eye, the riders will once again see Ilkley, with the famous climb up the Cow and Calf before a sprint point at Arthington and then what is expected to be a hugely popular finish line in Roundhay Park in Leeds.

Welcome to Yorkshire is also organising  a month long Tour de Yorkshire Festival from 1st April to 3rd May to showcase the county’s rich and diverse cultural offering.

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