LE TOUR DE YORKSHIRE
It’s fast, it’s furious and it’s about to speed past you on two wheels! Yes, it’s that time of year again, when cyclists race through the landscape of “God’s own country” for Le Tour de Yorkshire.
Whether you are taking part or just going along as a spectator, here’s a mini guide to what to expect.
WHEN DOES LE TOUR DE YORKSHIRE TAKE PLACE?
This year the race will take place on Friday 29 April, Saturday 30 April and Sunday 1 May.
WHAT ROUTES WILL THE CYCLISTS FOLLOW?
Friday 29 April – Stage 1 is an 186km run across North Yorkshire, starting in the historic town of Beverley and taking in Wetherby and Grassington before finishing in Settle. This first stage will include part of the 2014 Tour de France route.
Saturday 30 April – Stage 2, also comprising the Women’s race, starts in the West Yorkshire town of Otley and is a 136km route heading south, with a finish line in Doncaster.
Sunday 1 May – for Stage 3 it’s back up to the town of Middlesbrough, down to Thirsk then across to the coast, ending in Scarborough. At 198km, it’s the longest stage of the Tour.
WHERE SHOULD I WATCH FROM?
The three routes take in some of the region’s most picturesque villages, including Knaresborough, Grassington, Monk Fryston, Sprotbrough, Robin Hood’s Bay and Thirsk.
The race also traverses the stunning Yorkshire countryside, from the North Yorkshire moors to the coastal route between Robin Hood’s Bay and Scarborough.
Where you choose to watch from may depend on where you live, but it’s worth checking online to see which roads will be closed, and bagging your roadside spot early.
If you prefer to watch at home, live coverage will be on ITV4 and Eurosport 2.
WHO IS RACING THIS YEAR?
A veritable ‘Who’s Who’ of cycling champions, including Tour de France winners, Olympians and World champions. Olympic gold medallist Bradley Wiggins and World Champion Lizzie Armitstead, who was born in Otley, are just two of the Brits competing this year.
CAN NON-PROFESSIONALS TAKE PART?
A special Tour de Yorkshire Sportive race is being held ahead of the official race on Sunday 1 May, with three route options of 119km, 85km and 40km.
All end in Scarborough, at the same place as the professionals will be finishing their race later, so all cyclists will be cheered on by the crowds as they cross the finish line.
A LITTLE HISTORY
Following the spectacularly successful Grand Départ of the 2014 Tour de France in Yorkshire – only the second time the event has taken place in the UK – the Tour de Yorkshire was first organised on the May bank holiday in 2015, when one and a half million spectators came to line the route.
This second Tour looks set to help establish the event as a permanent annual fixture on the cycling calendar.
The Tour will be followed by an 18-day Yorkshire Festival from 16 June, showcasing a wide range of arts events – see http://festival.yorkshire.com/ for more information.
WHERE CAN I FIND OUT MORE?
Visit http://letour.yorkshire.com. Happy cycling!