The route for the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire, which will take place at the start of May, has been unveiled in Bridlington this morning.
Team Sky’s Ben Swift and Brian Robinson, Britain’s first ever Tour de France stage winner, were in their home county to present the route for the race – a legacy of the 2014 Tour de France Grand Depart.
Rolling out of Bridlington on Friday May 1, the peloton will tackle a coastal 174km route to Scarborough before racing from Selby to York on stage two and Wakefield to Leeds for the third stage.
Tour de France organisers ASO are behind the race, in conjunction with Welcome to Yorkshire, and Tour director Christian Prudhomme is eagerly anticipating a return to the white rose county.
He said: “After the grandest of Grand Départs 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 there in May for the Tour de Yorkshire.”
Stage one will take the riders through the North York Moors National Park and Dalby Forest as well as visiting the coast at Whitby before a seafront finish in Scarborough.
Among the highlights of the route are the 1.5km climb out of Robin Hood’s Bay on stage one, which has an average gradient of 10.3 per cent.
Stage two, meanwhile, is also 174km in length and will take in much of the Wolds before a circuit of York, which hosted the start of stage two of the Tour de France.
The race then concludes with a tough 167km stage from Wakefield to Leeds, taking in several of the Tour de France roads but in reverse.
Cragg Vale, the longest continual ascent in England, becomes the longest continual descent, while Holmfirth, Hebden Bridge and the cobbles of Haworth also feature.
Punctuated by short, sharp climbs, the puncheurs are expected to play a big role in the stage with steep climbs at Goose Eye and up the Cow & Calf likely to prove decisive on a parcours similar to stage two of last year’s Tour de France.
Tour de France sports director Thierry Gouvenou said: “Yorkshire offers so much with its huge variety of landscapes. For this first edition we have three quite different stages, each with their own challenges and, seen as a whole, a very exciting addition to European racing.
“This first edition will suit a strong all-rounder. In the following years we will change the routes, taking in new places and offering something new each time.”
Meanwhile Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity is looking forward to welcoming back some of the world’s best riders.
“Before the Grand Départ had even finished people all across Yorkshire were asking when we can have more cycling,” said Verity.
“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.”
Also included in the weekend will be the Tour de Yorkshire Ride, a mass participation sportive organised by Human Race, the team behind events including the Wiggle Dragon Ride. The ride will take place before the pro race on the morning of the final stage.
Tour de Yorkshire 2015: route
Friday May 1: stage one – Bridlington to Scarborough, 174km
Saturday May 2: stage two – Selby to York, 174km
Sunday May 3: stage three – Wakefield to Leeds, 167km