Tour de Yorkshire stage towns unveiled

New race will head into areas that missed out on Tour de France's Grand Départ

Welcome to Yorkshire has confirmed the start and finish towns for next year’s inaugural edition of the Tour de Yorkshire, which takes place on 1-3 May. Bridlington, Leeds, Scarborough, Selby, Wakefield and York will host the race, which will, as Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity had promised, feature substantial sections in the eastern part of the county that missed out during this July's Tour de France Grand Départ.

Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme said he is looking forward to bringing many of the world's best teams back to Yorkshire in May. "I am delighted we are returning to Yorkshire where we saw the grandest ever Grand Départ for the Tour de France. It is clear the people of Yorkshire are passionate about cycling and we can't wait to bring them this new race," said Prudhomme.

Welcome to Yorkshire chief exec Verity described the race as "another huge milestone for Yorkshire as we position the county as the cycling heartland of Europe. This is the first ever Tour de Yorkshire, I am confident it will become a huge annual event and something that will raise Yorkshire's profile year on year."

Full route details of the 2.1-category event organised by ASO are due to be released on 21 January, 100 days before the start of the race. However, it has already been confirmed that Scarborough will be start town on stage two, which is likely to mean that its east county neighbour Bridlington will be the finish point on stage one.

The Tour de Yorkshire is at the heart of Cycle Yorkshire, the legacy of July’s hugely successful Grand Départ, which saw up to three million people pack the county's roads to watch the Tour de France.

"This new annual race will help to maintain the legacy progress gained so far, helping us to achieve our collective goals of inspiring more people to get on their bikes and get active," said British Cycling president Bob Howden "Events of this calibre show to the world that Britain has what it takes to be the par excellence deliverer of iconic world class showpieces."

Welcome to Yorkshire have also revealed that a sportive offering three different distances will take place on the final day and on the same roads as the final stage of the Tour de Yorkshire. There will also be a women-only 'Cycletta' event. This event will be organised by Human Race, owners of the Dragon Ride and many other sportives, in collaboration with the Tour de Yorkshire organisers. Entry for the sportive is already available on the Tour de Yorkshire website.

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