One of the highlights of the British cycling year is fast approaching with the fifth running of the Tour de Yorkshire. Famous for fantastic scenery, passionate crowds and some of the world’s best pro riders, it’s our very own festival of competitive pedal power. We look forward to what the event promises when it starts on Thursday May 2nd.
What’s all this Tour ‘de’ Yorkshire business? It’s not like plain-speaking Yorkshire folk to stick in an affected bit of French in something. Well, actually, there’s good reason why it’s called the Tour de Yorkshire, and it started in 2014 when Yorkshire was selected to be the start of that year’s Tour de France, hosting two stages from Leeds to Harrogate and from York to Sheffield.
Such were the incredible scenes over those two days – with truly epic crowds forming along the route – that the Tour de France organisers, ASO (a French company, by the way), decided to set up a dedicated stage-race in the county and in 2015 the Tour de Yorkshire was born. It’s been held every year since then, with some of the biggest pro teams in the world taking part and past winner’s including French legend Thomas Voeckler and former Team Sky rider Lars Petter Nordhaug.
The 2019 men’s race
For 2019 the big news is that the men’s Tour de Yorkshire has been upgraded to HC status, meaning it has the highest ranking of any multi-stage race that isn’t part of the World Tour. The action starts on Thursday May 2th in Doncaster and finishes four days, four stages and 631km later in Leeds on Sunday May 5th. The route will visit 150 village, towns and cities in God’s own county on the way, and teams lined up to take part include famous names such as Sky, Katusha Alpechin, Cofidis and Madison Genesis.
Stage 1 (Thursday May 2nd) – Doncaster to Selby – 182.5km
Stage 2 (Friday May 3rd) – Barnsley to Bedale – 132km
Stage 3 (Saturday May 4th) – Bridlington to Scarborough – 135km
Stage 4 (Sunday May 5th) – Halifax to Leeds – 182km
The 2019 women’s race
The women’s Tour de Yorkshire has also been a highlight of the domestic female racing calendar with past winner’s including British riders Lizzie Deignan and Louise Mahé. This year’s race starts on Friday May 3rd with stage one between Barnsley and Bedale, and finishes the next day with stage two between Bridlington and Scarborough. Teams lined up to take part include Trek Segafredo, Movistar Team Women and twice race winners, Boels Dolmans.
The 2019 sportive
There’s also a chance for non-pro riders to get involved, with a choice of three sportive routes all setting out from Leeds on Sunday May 5th. The short route is 50.4km, the medium route is 78.6km and the full long route is a whopping 123.3km challenge. To find out more, click here: https://letour.yorkshire.com/tour-de-yorkshire-ride/
And there’s more… the Worlds are coming to Yorkshire
Such has been the success of the Tour de Yorkshire there has even been talk of the county hosting the Vuelta a Espana – a race that has only left Spain three times in 80 years. But far better than just rumours was the announcement that Yorkshire will be the venue for this year’s UCI Road World Championships. From September 22nd-29th the very best cyclists in the world will compete for coveted rainbow jerseys in a full range of road disciplines, right here in the UK.
For more information, click here
And for more information about this year’s Tour de Yorkshire, visit the official race website here