OTLEY, Scarborough, Beverley and Middlesbrough were revealed today as the centrepieces of the second Tour de Yorkshire cycle race, to be staged next April and May.
The three-day event, a legacy of the last year’s tour de France grand Depart, is expected to again draw huge crowds throughout the county.
Otley, where the second stage of the race will begin, today hosted the offocial announcement of the route by tourism chief Sir Gary Verity.
He said: “We’ve selected routes which showcase Yorkshire’s stunning scenery and will also deliver an excellent sporting event.”
The 2015 race attracted 1.5 million roadside spectators and was claimed to have generated more than £50m for the region’s economy.
Next year’s race, which will feature a “Tour de Yorkshire Caravan” at key points on the route before the cyvlists arrive, will take 18 teams of eight riders to all four corners of the county.
Stage One, on Friday April 29, begins in Beverley, before the peloton races to Tadcaster and on to Knaresborough. A series of climbs will take the riders past Brimham Rocks before a finish in the Dales town of Settle.
Stage Two starts in Otley, home of the current women’s road World Champion Lizzie Armitstead. From there riders will travel south, on roads not raced before in either the Tour de France or Tour de Yorkshire, towards Conisbrough Castle and on to Doncaster.
The final stage will begin in Middlesbrough, then into Herriot Country before tackling the steep Sutton Bank, over the North York Moors and down towards a Scarborough finale.
Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme, who was also at today’s announcement in Otley, said: “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.”
As well as the professional race next year, an amateur event will give cyclists the chance to ride part of the same route, with a 1km sea-front sprint finish in Scarborough.
Civic figures welcomed today’s announcement. Stephen Parnaby, leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said the news that Beverley would host the start of the race was “great news for the town and the wider East Riding”.
He said the council’s investment of around £100,000 to bring the race there was “money well spent and will provide opportunities for local traders to capitalise on increased spending and help boost the East Riding economy”.
THE ROUTE IN DETAIL
Stage 1: Friday 29 April 2016: Beverley to Settle
• Total stage length: 184km
• 2 x sprint points (Bubwith, Giggleswick)
• 1 x King of the Mountain (Greenhow Hill)
• Total ascent: 1832m
The first stage will set off from Saturday Market in Beverley. The riders will parade around the town – which also played host to the race in 2015, then through North Bar before heading north west to the Official Start at Beverley Racecourse; Holme on the Wolds, Market Weighton (which also saw the race pass through in May 2015), and on westwards to a sprint point at Bubwith. From there, the peloton will race through North Duffield and west to Cawood – scene of Dick Turpin’s famous escape from York – and on to Tadcaster, famous for its breweries. After that, riders will visit Boston Spa, Wetherby, North Deighton and Knaresborough, home of the famous ‘spotty house’ from the Tour de France, decorated with the red spots of the King of the Mountains’ jersey. From there riders will travel to Ripley, home of the UK’s only Hotel du Ville rather than Town Hall, and on to Pateley Bridge where the first King of the Mountain will be won at Greenhow Hill. After that, it’s on to Grassington, then Threshfield and a return to some of the Tour de France roads, through Cracoe then Gargrave, the riders will then cross the finish line in Settle for the first time before a sprint at Giggleswick. They will complete a 12km loop back to the A65 and round to Settle town centre for an expected bunch finish in the town.
Stage 2: Saturday 30 April 2016: Otley to Doncaster
• Total stage length: 135.5km
• Same route for men and women
• 2 x sprint points (Scholes, Warmsworth)
• 3 x King/ Queen of the Mountain (Harewood Bank, East Rigton, Conisbrough Castle)
• Total ascent: 1110m
Stage Two will see a women’s race on the same route as the men’s event. The women’s race will start in the morning and the men’s race will begin in the early afternoon.
The route begins in Otley, home town of current women’s road World Champion Lizzie Armitstead. The Official Start is at Pool-in-Wharfedale, before the riders face an early King/ Queen of the Mountain challenge at Harewood Bank, before heading south east towards another King/ Queen of the Mountain at East Rigton, then to Thorner and a sprint at Scholes, then to Barwick in Elmet crossing the A1 at Aberford. Riders then go past Lotherton Hall, into Sherburn in Elmet, down to South Milford and Monk Fryston before swinging south to Birkin and Beal. The route then heads through Kellingley and on to Knottingley, Pontefract (home of liquorice) and Wentbridge, before North and South Elmsall, and on to hidden gem Hooton Pagnell. There is a sprint point at Warmsworth before a lap of, and King/ Queen of the Mountain, at 11th century Conisbrough Castle. The peloton will then head towards Tickhill and Bawtry before racing along the perimeter of Doncaster Sheffield Airport, past Doncaster Racecourse and onto a sprint finish on South Parade.
Stage 3: Sunday 1 May 2016: Middlesbrough to Scarborough
• Total stage length: 196km
• 2 x sprint points (Thirsk and Whitby Abbey)
• 6 x King of the Mountain (Sutton Bank, Blakey Ridge, Grosmont, Robin Hood’s Bay, Harwood Dale and Oliver’s Mount)
• Total ascent: 2593m
With an elevation of 2593 meters and six King of the Mountain classifications, the route begins in Middlesbrough, birth place of Captain James Cook, and takes the riders on a challenging and technical route through much of the stunning North York Moors National Park. From the start line at Middlesbrough’s MIMA Gallery, they travel south over the Official Start on the outskirts of Nunthorpe on the A172, through Great Ayton, home of the Captain Cook School Room, and on to Stokesley, Hutton Rudby, Winton and down to Northallerton, the county town of North Yorkshire. From there, the riders head to Thirsk’s market square where there will be a sprint point, before the infamous Sutton Bank and a King of the Mountain. Onwards to Helmsley, winner of Britain’s Best Market Town, then to Kirkbymoorside and heading north to Hutton le Hole and a King of the Mountain at Blakey Ridge. The peloton will recognise Castleton and many of the villages towards Whitby as the route is similar to that for the 2015 race. There will be a King of the Mountain at Grosmont, where in 2015 riders were welcomed by a steam salute by the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, and riders will pass through Sleights and Ruswarp before dipping down to Whitby. There is a sprint point at Whitby Abbey, before the race makes a visit to Hawkser. Next up is a battle over a King of the Mountain at Robin Hood’s Bay, before another King of the Mountain at Harwood Dale. From there it’s full speed to East Ayton and Irton, before a final King of the Mountain at Oliver’s Mount and a sprint finish in Scarborough’s North Bay.