The organisers of the Tour de Yorkshire have announced the second edition of three-day race will feature 18 teams, including the team of inaugural winner Lars Petter Nordhaug, Team Sky. Seven WorldTour teams in total will line up in Beverly for stage 1 on April 29 with Orica-GreenEdge and Katusha both debutants for 2016 as Giant-Alpecin, LottoNL-Jumbo, BMC, and Sky return, while Dimension Data is back under a WorldTour license after racing in 2015 as MTN-Qhubeka.
There will be strong British representation at the race with six British Continental teams, including Team WIGGINS, a national Great Britain team and the country's first Pro-Continental team, ONE Pro Cycling joining Sky on the start list
Along with the WorldTour and Continental teams, two French Pro-Continental squads, Cofidis Solutions Crédits and Direct Energie, return to the race in 2016 while Belgium and the Netherlands both have one team for the team, Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise and Roompot-Oranje Peloton respectively.
There is no announcement on which riders will be taking to the start line although the likes of Bradley Wiggins (WIGGINS) are expected to pin on a race number.
Nordhaug's overall win last year was set up with victory on the challenging stage 1 to Scarborough, with LottoNL-Jumbo's Moreno Hofland winning stage 2 and Ben Hermans (BMC) claiming a solo win on stage 3.
Following stage 1 from Beverly to Settle, stage 2 takes the peloton from Otley to Doncaster over 135.5km, with a 196km stage 3 from Middlesbrough to Scarborough concluding the 2016 Tour de Yorkshire. A women's race will be be held on April 30 on the same route as the men's stage 2.
Race director Gary Verity told Cyclingnews in January that changes to the parcours should see the race decided on stage 3, rather than stage 1 as it was in 2015.
"We've taken feedback on board from the riders and teams that the first stage was just a little bit too hard; it was probably more savage than people expected it to be so we've toned down stage 1, [though] it's still a long way at 185 kilometres," Verity said. "There are still some climbs in it but it's not as savage as last year's first stage, where, for example, Marcel Kittel had to abandon.
"The second stage, 135 kilometres, is very much a sprinters' stage and we've done exactly the same stage for the men's and women's stage. The third stage is a very tough stage. 195 kilometres long, six categorised climbs, over 2500 metres of ascent. It's a real classic."
2016 Tour de Yorkshire teams:
Team Lotto NL-Jumbo
Team Dimension Data
BMC Racing Team
Cofidis, Solutions Crédits
ONE Pro Cycling
Team Raleigh GAC