Bridlington, Scarborough, Selby and Wakefield will join Leeds and York in hosting the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire next May, with the start and finishing towns for the three-day race announced today. The race, intended to help seal the legacy from this year’s Tour de France Grand Départ, will be accompanied by a sportive on Sunday 3 May.
Leeds and York both hosted the starts, respectively, of Stages 1 and 2 of July’s Tour de France, but the new race will also visit parts of the region that didn’t feature in this summer’s race, in particular the East Riding where Bridlington is located, and further up the coast in North Yorkshire, Scarborough.
We won’t know the detailed route, including where the three stages actually start and finish, until the official launch on 21 January, 100 days before the start of the race which runs from 1-3 May.
It is being jointly organised by ASO and Welcome to Yorkshire and with UCI 2.1 status will feature some of the sport’s biggest teams, as well as leading domestic outfits.
Tour de France race director Christian Prudhomme said: “I am delighted we are returning to Yorkshire where we saw the grandest ever Grand Départ for the Tour de France. It is clear the people of Yorkshire are passionate about cycling and we can’t wait to bring them this new race.”
Welcome to Yorkshire, meanwhile, is looking to build upon that spectacular start to the Tour de France which saw in excess of 3 million people line the roadside during the race’s two-day visit, boosting the local economy by more than £100 million.
Its chief executive, Gary Verity, said: “This is another huge milestone for Yorkshire as we position the county as the cycling heartland of Europe.
“This is the first ever Tour de Yorkshire, I am confident it will become a huge annual event and something that will raise Yorkshire’s profile year on year.”
Cyclists can register now for the Tour de Yorkshire Sportive, enabling them to benefit from a discount when places go on sale.
It will take place on the same day and the same roads as Stage 3 of the professional event and will be delivered by Human Race, organisers of the Wiggle Dragon Ride.
Three route options will be available – 140km, 100km, and 50km, with the shorter distance also playing host to a women-only Cycletta ride. Full route details will be made available in January, but will include some roads used during this year’s Tour de France.
Five-time Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault said: “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.”
Welcome to Yorkshire’s Verity added: "This is a fantastic chance for people to ride this iconic route and we hope it will, as part of the legacy of the Grand Départ, get more people of all ages and all abilities cycling."
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.