The Tour de Yorkshire today unveiled six host cities for the 2017 race, with Bradford, Bridlington, Fox Valley (Sheffield), Harrogate, Scarborough and Tadcaster all taking part in the three-day race scheduled for April 28-30.
Next year will mark the third edition of the UCI 2.1 race that grew out of the Tour de France Grand Depart there in 2014. The one-day women's race will take place April 29.
In 2016, the race saw considerable growth over its inaugural year, according to a statement released with today's announcement, with roadside spectators increasing from 1.5 million in 2015 to 2 million this year. In addition, the Tour de Yorkshire attracted 11.4 million global TV viewers this year, up from 6 million in 2015, and it boosted the local economy by £60 million. Organisers expect the momentum to continue as Yorkshire was recently awarded the UCI Road World Championships in 2019.
"In just two years the Tour de Yorkshire has become one of the biggest and best races on the professional cycling calendar," said Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire. "Riders are overwhelmed by the support they receive on the roadside, and the racing is among the most exciting you will see all season.
"The third edition will continue that progression, and the attention it receives will be greater than ever given that we have just succeeded in bringing the UCI Road World Championships to the county in 2019. The world’s best cyclists will be using the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire as a first dress rehearsal for that, and we’re planning a course that will challenge and impress them in equal measure."
Team Sky's Lars Petter Nordhaug won the inaugural edition of the race in 2015, while Thomas Voeckler took top honours at this year's race. Kirsten Wild (Hitec Products) won the inaugural women's race in 2016.
"The Tour de Yorkshire has done itself proud in building a lasting and hugely successful legacy on the back of the 2014 Grand Départ," said Christian Prudhomme of the ASO, which serves as the technical partner for Tour de Yorkshire. "The race is a true success story, and we are thrilled to be working in partnership with such a great team at Welcome to Yorkshire. We’re looking forward to another fantastic edition in 2017."
The complete 2017 race route will be unveiled in December.
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