The route of the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire has been unveiled today, with the three day race starting on Friday 28 April with a 173km stage from Bridlington to Scarborough - a repeat of the opening stage of last year's inaugural edition - and finishing in Sheffield two days later.
Organisers ASO and Welcome to Yorkshire say tht the final stage of April's race will be the toughest in the event's three-year history, with eight categorised climbs on the 194.5km parcours from Bradford.
Between those opening and closing stages, there's a finish for Stage 2 in Harrogate, where Mark Cavendish crashed on the opening day of the 2014 Tour de France while looking to challenge Marcel Kittel for the stage win and the yellow jersey. Covering 122.5km, that stage starts in Tadcaster. The route will also be used the same day in the Asda Tour du Yorkshire women's race.
Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive Sir Gary Verity said: "I can’t wait to see the world’s best riders tackling these routes. We’ve worked hard to design a course which showcases Yorkshire’s stunning scenery as well as delivering a thrilling sporting event.
“Last year the race attracted 2 million spectators and generated £60 million for the local economy, and we’ll go from strength to strength again next year.
Christian Prudhomme of ASO said: “I always enjoy coming to Yorkshire and the county certainly knows how to put on a show. I am excited by what this year’s route has in store and am sure it will provide three days of fantastic racing.”
Here's a description of each stage provided by Welcome to Yorkshire.
Stage 1: 173km –The Coast and Wolds
Bridlington - Scarborough, Friday 28 April
The race takes the peloton from the coast through the Yorkshire Wolds, starting outside the refurbished Bridlington Spa and heading into Pocklington for the first intermediate sprint. The classified climbs up the Côtes de Garrowby Hill and Goathland will get the legs pumping before the race hits the coastline again at Whitby where the riders will get a great view of the world-famous Abbey as they contest the second sprint of the day. The route continues on to Robin Hood’s Bay for the third and final climb and then it’s full steam into Scarborough for the now-legendary finish along North Bay.
Stage 2: 122.5km – Historic Market Towns
Tadcaster - Harrogate, Saturday 29 April
Starting on Tadcaster Bridge - which will be newly reopened following flood damage last Boxing Day - this stage takes the riders through some of Yorkshire’s finest market towns. They will venture into Knaresborough, where tBe first intermediate sprint points are up for grabs, and the day’s sole categorised climb comes on the fearsome Côte de Lofthouse before the descent into Masham. It’s on to Ripon for the second intermediate sprint and the race will skirt the stunning Fountains Abbey before a fast approach to Harrogate. The action reaches its crescendo along Parliament Street, just as it did on the opening stage of the 2014 Tour de France.
Stage 3: 194.5km – The Yorkshire Terrier
Bradford - Fox Valley (Sheffield) Sunday 30 April
Named The Yorkshire Terrier as this is the toughest stage in the history of the Tour de Yorkshire, riders will start at Bradford City Park before heading into Saltaire. The action then briefly joins the 2014 Tour de France route at Burley-in-Wharfedale before passing the majestic Bolton Abbey and into the Yorkshire Dales. Skipton is the next town on the agenda, with the first of eight categorised climbs being contested on the Côte de Silsden. The following ascent comes on the cobbled rise up Haworth’s picturesque main street and another climb at Leeming must also be tackled before they face the infamous Côte de Shibden Wall. This cobbled brute could see splits form before the intermediate sprint at Clifton. The race then traverses from West to South Yorkshire and into Penistone, and another sprint is on the cards at Stocksbridge before the riders embark on a torturous 22km finishing circuit that features no-less than four categorised climbs. These come at Deepcar, Wigtwizzle, Ewden Height and Midhopestones before the race reaches its climax at Fox Valley.
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.