Sir Bradley Wiggins and Marcel Kittel will headline the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire after the teams set for this year’s race were unveiled by ASO and Welcome to Yorkshire.
Wiggins will ride for his new Continental team, WIGGINS, after being granted special dispensation from the UCI to complete his switch from Team Sky in time for the race, which takes place on Friday May 1 to Sunday May 3.
Kittel, who won stage one of the Tour de France in Yorkshire last year, will return to the county with his Giant-Alpecin squad, one of five WorldTour teams set for the race.
Team Sky, BMC Racing, IAM Cycling and Team LottoNL-Jumbo will also return to Yorkshire having all been at the Tour de France last year (the latter as Belkin Pro Cycling), as will ProContinental teams Europcar and Cofidis.
MTN-Qhubeka, who have been granted a wildcard entry into this year’s Tour de France, are also among the teams invited to the Tour de Yorkshire, while Yorkshire favourite Russell Downing will hope to be in Cult Energy Pro Cycling’s line-up.
Rompoot Oranje Peloton and Topsport-Vlaanderen Baloise are also included from UCI ProContinental level, while a Great Britain national team will field eight riders.
The line-up for the 2.1-classified UCI Europe Tour race will be completed by four of Britain’s UCI Continental teams: Team WIGGINS, One Pro Cycling, NFTO and Madison-Genesis, meaning JLT-Condor and Raleigh-GAC miss out.
Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity said: “Today is a landmark moment for Yorkshire and it is a credit to every single person who played a role in the Grand Départ – whether they were a spectator, a rider, a Tour Maker – that we have attracted such a high calibre of teams to this first edition of our new race.
“The start and finish towns for the Tour de Yorkshire and everybody who has already picked out where they will watch on the day, and now, every member of these teams, will experience one of the greatest sports events in the UK in 2015.”
Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme, of ASO, added: “We will be glad to return to Yorkshire after the huge success of the Tour de France 2014 Grand Départ, the grandest ever.
“The first ever Tour de Yorkshire will be another occasion to showcase the outstanding landscapes of the county, especially of the coast which we didn’t visit last year with Le Tour.
“Tour de Yorkshire will be a great opportunity to review young talents among British riders and enable them to ride with top Tour de France professional teams and cycling stars like Sir Bradley Wiggins and Marcel Kittel.”
The eight-rider line-ups will be confirmed in April, with a mixed parcours awaiting, from a punchy stage from Bridlington to Scarborough, a sprinters day from Selby to York and then a challenging and lumpy route from Wakefield to Leeds.
ITV and British Eurosport will both broadcast live coverage of the race, while a women’s race, covering four 20km laps of a York circuit, has also been scheduled for the Saturday.
Tour de Yorkshire 2015: teams
Team Sky (GBR)
BMC Racing (USA)
Team LottoNL-Jumbo (NED)
IAM Cycling (SUI)
Cult Energy Pro Cycling (DEN)
Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise (BEL)
Rompoot Oranje Peloton (NED)
Team WIGGINS (GBR)
One Pro Cycling (GBR)
Great Britain (GBR)