The start and finish times have been revealed for this year’s second annual Tour de Yorkshire cycle race, which begins at the end of next month.
Hundreds of thousands of of spectators are again expected to line the route of the three day men’s race and one day women’s race between Friday April 29 and Sunday May 1.
Stage one will begin at 11.50am in the Saturday Market square in Beverley. The riders will head out towards the railway station via Toll Gavel and past County Hall on Cross Street before heading towards Beverley Minster. Riders will then head out of the town on Lairgate, passing St Mary’s Church before heading towards the racecourse to the official start line.
Key points along the route include the first sprint point at Bubwith at 1.06pm, then Tadcaster at 1.50pm, Knaresborough at 2.22pm, then the first King of the Mountain (KoM) point at Greenhow Hill at 3.02pm. From there riders will visit Grassington at 3.20pm and cross the finish line at Settle for the first time at 4.06pm, before completing a circuit through Giggleswick and the stage finale at Settle at 4.26pm.
Saturday’s second stage will see two separate races for men and women.
The Women’s Tour de Yorkshire will begin in Otley, home of women’s road World Champion Lizzie Armitstead, at 8.15am. Starting from Boroughgate in the town centre, the teams will head up Westgate before turning left onto West Chevin Road and Burras Lane. They will then head back towards town, passing All Saints Parish Church, before travelling down Bondgate and Crossgate.
Riders will find an early Queen of the Mountain point at Harewood Bank, near Harewood House, which saw the Royal Family officially start the Tour de France’s Grand Depart in 2014. From Harewood they head to East Rigton at 8.56am, Pontefract at 10.02am and a climb at Conisbrough Castle at 11.03am before crossing the finish line in Doncaster at 11.59am.
The men’s race will tackle exactly the same stage from Otley to Doncaster in the afternoon. Sprint and KoM points are also the same. The men’s peloton will start in Otley at 2.20pm, before reaching Harewood Bank at 2.44pm, Conisbrough Castle at 4.37pm and a finish in Doncaster at 5.23pm.
Stage Three will begin at 11.10am on Sunday in Captain Cook’s hometown of Middlesbrough. From the start point at Centre Square and the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, the riders will ride past Borough Road before heading into Teesside University’s new Campus Heart. They will then head down Linthorpe Road to the Cenotaph and through Albert Park, before heading up Marton Road and past the new Middlesbrough Sports Village. A quick detour will see them ride through Stewart Park and past the birthplace of Captain Cook before heading through Marton to the official race start on the A172 to the south of Nunthorpe.
Those who raced in 2015 will find some of the stage familiar from Stage One of the inaugural race; route planners have fitted in a total of six KoM on this stage alone, promising a thrilling race right down to the finish line in Scarborough.
Key points along the route include a sprint at Thirsk at 12.51pm, the first KOM at Sutton Bank at 1.06pm, Blakey Ridge at 1.54pm, Grosmont at 2.46pm, a sprint at Whitby at 3.06pm, and three further KoMs at Robin Hood’s Bay at 3.23pm, Harwood Dale at 3.44pm and Oliver’s Mount at 4.16pm before crossing the line in Scarborough at 4.25pm.
A number of events and festivals are being held by communities across the county to celebrate the race. Some of these include Stokesley’s TourFest, which features live music, food stalls and street entertainers, Middlesbrough’s Enjoy the Ride festival, with a celebratory carnival, community stage and street theatre, and similar events at Monk Fryston and Hillam, near Selby, Sutton Bank and Danby.