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Welcome to Yorkshire teams up with Tour de France organisers for new stage race

A new three-day stage race provisionally dubbed the Tour de Yorkshire will be staged in God's Own County from May 1-3 next year.

The race will be organised by tourist agency Welcome to Yorkshire and Amaury Sport Organisation, which operates the Tour de France. It will have a UCI ranking of 2.1.

Organisers say they have plans to include parts of the county that the Tour de France's  Yorkshire Grand Départ didn’t visit.

The format will see three full stages take place over the three days, and organisers intend to include a women’s race and a mass participation sportive as part of the event.

More race information is set to be announced in late 2014, with full routes expected to be unveiled in early 2015.

Talks are under way to secure worldwide coverage of the race, providing a chance to show off Yorkshire’s landscapes once again.

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, which led the bid to bring the Tour de France to the county, said: “This new official international cycle race heralds the start of a world-class event for Yorkshire that we want to see grow over the coming years to become known the world over. We already have a huge amount of interest thanks to the Yorkshire Grand Départ, which captured the imagination of millions of people globally – and the Tour de Yorkshire will be a fitting legacy. We’re confident that come May, we’ll deliver something very special.”

Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour de France, said: “We knew Yorkshire was gorgeous and there was a real passion for the Tour, but now we know after the unforgettable Grand Départ that people love the sport of cycling. It is now time to work together to bring a new race that will see some amazing riders and passionate crowds once again line the streets.”

Bob Howden, President of British Cycling, said: “To secure the approval of the UCI is terrific news and building on the huge success of the Grand Départ here in Yorkshire, we can drive up participation and work towards more people cycling more often. A new world-class race helps underline a commitment to cycling in all its forms.”

See www.letouryorkshire.com/tour-de-Yorkshire and follow @letouryorkshire for more information and updates.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.