Mayday… Ride for the Lifeboats!

Mayday Ride for the Lifeboats

Britain’s lifeboat charity, The Royal National Lifeboat Institution, will benefit from the second edition of the 2016 Tour de Yorkshire cycling spectacular.

Last year’s tour was a resounding success, and the 2016 event from 29 April to a May 1 is expected to provide a major boost for RNLI funds in addition, to raising its profile. All money raised through the partnership with the Tour de Yorkshire will be re-invested into RNLI activity in Yorkshire. There are nine RNLI lifeboat stations in Yorkshire.

In 2014, volunteer crews from these lifeboat stations rescued 275 people and recently the RNLI Flood Rescue Team helped more than 300 people over a three-day deployment during flooding in Cumbria.

Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “The race provides a great platform for the RNLI to fundraise and to raise awareness and we will be supporting them wholeheartedly over the next few months.”

Leesa Harwood, RNLI community lifesaving and fundraising director, said: “The event takes place over the same weekend as the RNLI’s national fundraising campaign, Mayday, and will enable us to raise vital funds to save lives at sea.

“The RNLI relies on voluntary donations and without our supporters we simply wouldn’t be able to provide crews with the equipment and training they need, or fund our safety programmes to help educate children and adults alike about how to keep out of danger at the coast and on inland waterways.”


Amateur cyclists who enter the Maserati Tour de Yorkshire Ride, taking place on Sunday 1 May, will have the option to raise money for the RNLI when they register.

Stage One, on Friday 29 April, 185 Km from Beverley to Settle, will set off from the Saturday Market site in Beverley. The 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; Holme on the Wolds, Market Weighton, and on westwards to a sprint point at Bubwith. From there, the peloton will race through North Duffield and west to Cawood – scene of Dick Turpin’s famous escape from York – and on to Tadcaster. After that, riders will visit Boston Spa, Wetherby, North Deighton and Knaresborough. From there riders will travel to Ripley, home of the UK’s only Hotel du Ville rather than Town Hall, and on to Pateley Bridge where the first King of the Mountain will be won at Greenhow Hill. After that, it’s on to Grassington, then Threshfield and a return to some of the Tour de France roads, through Cracoe then Gargrave. The riders will then  cross the finish line in Settle for the first time before a sprint at Giggleswick. They will complete a 12km loop back to the A65 and round to Settle town centre for an expected bunch finish in the town.

Stage Two, 135.5Km from Otley to Doncaster, 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. The Official Start is at Pool-in-Wharfedale, before the riders face an early King/Queen of the Mountain challenge at Harewood Bank, before heading south east towards another King/Queen of the Mountain at East Rigton, then to Thorner and a sprint at Scholes, then to Barwick in Elmet crossing the A1 at Aberford. Riders then go past Lotherton Hall, into Sherburn in Elmet, down to South Milford and Monk Fryston before swinging south to Birkin and Beal. The route then heads through Kellingley and on to Knottingley, Pontefract and Wentbridge, before North and South Elmsall, and on to hidden gem Hooton Pagnell. There is a sprint point at Warmsworth before a lap of, and King/Queen of the Mountain, at 11th century Conisbrough Castle. The peloton will then head towards Tickhill and Bawtry before racing along the perimeter of Doncaster Sheffield Airport, past Doncaster Racecourse and onto a sprint finish on South Parade.

Stage Three on Sunday 1 May is 198Km from Middlesbrough to Scarborough.

If the first two stages are for the sprinters, Stage Three will certainly appeal to the climbers. With an elevation of 2,593 metres and six King of the Mountain classifications, the route begins in Middlesbrough, birthplace of Captain James Cook, and takes the riders on a challenging and technical route through much of the stunning North York Moors National Park.

From the start line at Middlesbrough’s MIMA Gallery, they travel south over the Official Start on the outskirts of Nunthorpe on the A172, through Great Ayton, home of the Captain Cook School Room, and on to Stokesley, Hutton Rudby, Winton and down to Northallerton, county town of North Yorkshire. From there, the riders head to Thirsk’s market square where there will be a sprint
point, before the infamous Sutton Bank and a King of the Mountain. Onwards to Helmsley, winner of Britain’s Best Market Town, then to Kirkbymoorside and heading north to Hutton le Hole
and a King of the Mountain at Blakey Ridge.

The peloton will recognise Castleton and many of the villages towards Whitby as the route is similar to that for the 2015 race. There will be a King of the Mountain at Grosmont, where in 2015 riders were welcomed by a steam salute by the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, and riders will pass through Sleights and Ruswarp before dipping down to Whitby. There is a sprint point at Whitby Abbey, before the race makes a visit to Hawkser. Next up is a battle over a King of the Mountain at Robin Hood’s Bay, before another King of the Mountain at Harwood Dale. From there it’s full speed to East Ayton and Irton, before a final King of the Mountain at Oliver’s Mount and a sprint finish in Scarborough’s North Bay.

Anyone wanting to get involved in raising money for the RNLI as part of the Tour de Yorkshire 2016 should email

Information about Mayday is available at

Tour de Yorkshire is organised jointly by Welcome to Yorkshire and Amaury Sport Organisation, in association with British Cycling. It’s an annual international race with a new route through Yorkshire each year, and forms part of the legacy of the historic Yorkshire Grand Départ of the Tour de France 2014.