The Tour de Yorkshire, one of the most spectacular and well received events in the British sporting calendar, returns for a second year with new routes and new challenges.
The huge crowds will be entertained by Race Ambassadors and a Tour de Yorkshire Caravan which will visit key points on the route before the race starts.
The route will take the 18 teams of eight riders to all four corners of Yorkshire, linking together the county’s sporting, historic, industrial and literary greats.
Stage One begins in Beverley, home to one of England’s finest Minsters, before the peloton races to Tadcaster and on to Knaresborough which was the scene of some of the biggest crowds for the Tour de France in 2014.
Taking in some of the Grand Depart 2014 route, a series of climbs takes the riders past Brimham Rocks before a finish in Settle.
On Stage Two, men and women will face exactly the same stage which starts in Otley, home of the current women’s road World Champion Lizzie Armitstead.
From Otley riders travel south, on roads not raced on in the Tour de France or Tour de Yorkshire, towards Conisbrough Castle and on to Doncaster.
Stage Three will be familiar to those who raced in 2015, starting in Captain James Cook’s home town of Middlesbrough, then into Herriot Country before tackling the infamous Sutton Bank, the first of six King of the Mountain points in just one stage. Riders then head over the North York Moors and down towards Scarborough for what promises to be a thrilling finale and a race to the very end.
Riders joined host towns at a launch event in Otley, where Welcome to Yorkshire’s Sir Gary Verity and A.S.O.’s Christian Prudhomme unveiled the full route.
Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said:
“For next year’s race we’ve selected routes which showcase Yorkshire’s stunning scenery and will also deliver an excellent sporting event.
Our first race was phenomenally successful, bringing 1.5 million spectators to the roadside, generating over £50million for the regional economy and being broadcast around the world – not many races can say that.
The stages we’ve revealed today are eagerly anticipated by fans, riders and teams and we have all the ingredients for another spectacular race which will bring the crowds back out.”
Christian Prudhomme, Director of the Tour de France, said:
“I am always happy to be back in Yorkshire and today marks an important milestone for the race. Feedback from teams and riders last year was excellent and this year we have three stages which together create a race right to the end; the final King of the Mountain points are barely six kilometres from the final finish line.”
In addition to the professional races, the Maserati Tour de Yorkshire Ride will give amateur cyclists the chance to ride many of the roads ridden by the pros in a newly designed sportive route, which will start and finish in Scarborough on Sunday 1 May. The sportive route will follow parts of Stage 3 of the men’s race whilst also taking in several alternative roads to allow for all 6000 participants to finish in their own time.
A highlight of the sportive will see amateur riders finishing with a 1km sea-front sprint finish and crossing the very same finish line as the professional riders with the same support from the waiting crowds. There will be three distances for riders to choose from; 40km, 85km and 115km. The sportive sold out in a matter of hours in 2015 and those hoping to secure a place in the 2016 ride can register their interest and be first to hear when this year’s event opens at letouryorkshire.com/sportive
Returning sponsors for the men’s race have also been confirmed, with Yorkshire Bank sponsoring the Sprint Jersey; Dimension Data sponsoring the Digital Vote / Most Aggressive Rider Jersey; and Mavic returning as the Official Supplier. Yorkshire Bank also sponsor the Tour de France legacy project – the Yorkshire Bank Bike Libraries – which have already helped over a thousand children in Yorkshire ride a bike for free.