PHOTO: Tour de Yorkshire 2017 takes place 28 – 30 April 2017
In 2014 Yorkshire raced into the history books when it secured Yorkshire as the location for the first stage of the Tour de France. Under the guidance of Sir Gariy Verity and his team it was the “grandest of all Grand Departs” according to Tour de France race director Christian Prudhomme. Watched by over 5 million people along the route and millions more worldwide, it set the stage for Yorkshire as a cycling destination.
The third Tour de Yorkshire Annual Legacy Race this year builds on this monumental event and along the route preparation is well underway. Between Friday 28th – Sunday 30th April the roads and towns of Yorkshire will once again be filled with cyclists and the Yorkshire flag will be flying proudly.
The first stage known as the “The Coast and the Wolds” begins in Bridlington Spa and finishes 173km later in Scarborough. This route heads inland through Pocklington and Driffield which have thus far not been visited by the tour and the cyclists will tackle the iconic Garrowby Hill, made famous by Bradford born artist David Hockey in his 1998 landscape. The route then heads back towards the coast to pass through Whitby and Robin Hood’s Bay.
Stage 2 begins in Tadcaster, with cyclists travelling across the new bridge, completed this year after December floods washed away the Grade II listed bridge tearing the town in two. This stage covers the “Historic Market Towns” and ends in Parliament Square, Harrogate the same stretch of tarmac where the Mark Cavendish famously crashed in 2014, but not before passing the impressive UNESCO World Heritage site of Fountains Abbey.
The second stage highlights the leaps and bounds being made in Yorkshire for women’s cycling. The ASDA women’s race has a total prize fund of £50,000 making it the most lucrative women’s race in the world. Otley born World Champion Lizzie Deignan (ne Armitstead) will be competing.
The third stage known as the “Yorkshire Terrier” starts in Bradford, the world’s first UNESCO City of Film and passes the second UNESCO World Heritage site on the route Saltaire. Salts Mill and the purpose built village for employees was the creation of Titus Salt, manufacturer and philanthropist in the mid-19th century. This stage also includes the toughest of the climbs on the route at Shibden Wall described as a “beast”.
The 194.5km third stage passes Skipton Castle, Holmfirth or “little Hollywood”, famed for the filming of Last of the Summer Wine and to finish the riders embark on a torturous 22km finishing circuit that features no less than four categorised climbs at Deepcar, Wigtwizzle, Ewden Height and Midhopestones ending Fox Valley Sheffield.
The event is expected to further boost local economy, build communities and celebrate all that makes Yorkshire great from the people to the scenery and cements Yorkshire’s place as a world class cycling destination. The opening of the purpose built Brownlee Triathlon Training Centre, home of Olympic Heroes Jonny and Alistair this year and the announcement that the 2019 UCI Road World Championships will be held in Yorkshire, show a bright future that will give a much needed boost to rural towns for many years to come.
Watch the riders go by this year and let one of Yorkshire’s Best Guides reveal the hidden secrets of the towns and scenery along the way.