Cycling fever is set to return to our district as the Tour de Yorkshire will pass through Knaresborough, Ripley and Pateley Bridge in 2016.
On Friday, April 29, Stage One, which sees the peleton set off from Beverley, will pass through Tadcaster, Wetherby, Knaresborough, Ripley and Pateley Bridge on the way to the stage finish in Settle.
Stage Two, on Saturday, April 30, begins in Otley and passes through Thorner, Scholes, Barwick in Elmet and Sherburn in Elmet en route to Doncaster.
Crowds will be entertained by Race Ambassadors and a Tour de Yorkshire Caravan which will visit key points on the route before the race starts.
The route will take the 18 teams of eight riders to all four corners of Yorkshire.
Stage One begins in Beverley, before the peloton races to Tadcaster and on to Knaresborough which was the scene of some of the biggest crowds for the Tour de France in 2014. Taking in some of the Grand Depart 2014 route, a series of climbs takes the riders past Brimham Rocks before a finish in Settle.
On Stage Two, men and women will face exactly the same stage which starts in Otley, home of the current women’s road World Champion Lizzie Armitstead. From Otley riders travel south, towards Conisbrough Castle and on to Doncaster.
Stage Three will be familiar to those who raced in 2015, starting in Captain James Cook’s home town of Middlesbrough, then into Herriot Country before tackling the infamous Sutton Bank, the first of six King of the Mountain points in just one stage. Riders then head over the North York Moors and down towards Scarborough.
Riders joined host towns at a launch event in Otley, where Welcome to Yorkshire’s Sir Gary Verity and A.S.O.’s Christian Prudhomme unveiled the full route.
Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “For next year’s race we’ve selected routes which showcase Yorkshire’s stunning scenery and will also deliver an excellent sporting event. Our first race was phenomenally successful, bringing 1.5 million spectators to the roadside, generating over £50million for the regional economy and being broadcast around the world - not many races can say that.
"The stages we’ve revealed today are eagerly anticipated by fans, riders and teams and we have all the ingredients for another spectacular race which will bring the crowds back out.”
Christian Prudhomme, Director of the Tour de France, said: “I am always happy to be back in Yorkshire and 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.”
In addition to the professional races, the Maserati Tour de Yorkshire Ride will give amateur cyclists the chance to ride many of the roads ridden by the pros in a newly designed sportive route, which will start and finish in Scarborough on Sunday 1 May.
The sportive route will follow parts of Stage 3 of the men's race whilst also taking in several alternative roads to allow for all 6000 participants to finish in their own time.
Friday, April 29 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 Tourde 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, April 30, 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
The women’s race will be held on exactly the same route as the men’s race. 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, May 1, 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
Stage Three will appeal to the climbers. 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.