Luke Rowe (Team Sky), Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis), Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie) and Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) are among the star names confirmed for the third edition of the Tour de Yorkshire, which takes place from April 28-30.
Lizzie Deignan (Boels-Dolmans) will headline the women’s race on April 29, and she will be joined by Olympic champion Anna van der Breggen and Tour of Flanders winner Coryn Rivera (Sunweb).
In the men’s race, Rowe will lead a Sky team that is also set to feature neo-professionals Owain Doull and Jonathan Dibben. Ewan will be joined in a strong Orica-Scott line-up by Mat Hayman, winner of Paris-Roubaix a year ago.
Ewan and Bouhanni lead the line-up of sprinters, but they will face stiff competition from Dutch champion Dylan Groenwegen (LottoNL-Jumbo), who won the opening stage a year ago.
British champion Adam Blythe and 2015 winner Lars Petter Nordhaug will be on hand for Irish Pro Continental outfit Aqua Blue Sport, while Yorkshireman Scott Thwaites will be part of the Dimension Data squad.
The full start list has not yet been released, but Steven Kruijswijk has long been slated to line out in Yorkshire for his final test ahead of the Giro d’Italia.
Lizzie Deignan is the star attraction in the Women’s Tour de Yorkshire, where inaugural winner Kirsten Wild (Cylance) is targeting a second successive victory. Double road world champion Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle-High5) will also be in contention.
“It is exciting to be able to unveil this first wave of big-name riders and the strength of this list demonstrates how highly the Tour de Yorkshire is regarded,” said Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive Gary Verity. “The third edition will be the biggest and best one yet, and with World Champions, Olympic Gold Medallists and Grand Tour stage winners on the start list, we can guarantee three days of great racing.”
The Tour de Yorkshire begins with a 173km leg from Bridlington to Scarborough Stage 2 brings the race from Tadcaster to Harrogate, before the finale from Bradford to Sheffield.
The Women’s Tour de Yorkshire takes place over the same 122km course as stage 2 of the men’s race.