Organisers of the 2019 Tour de Yorkshire and Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women's Race have unveiled the stage details for both events at a presentation today in Leeds Civic Hall. The two-day women's race will take place May 3-4, the first time the race will be featured on Friday and Saturday dates, while the newly elevated UCI 2.HC men's race will run May 2-5 and start with 178.5km run from Doncaster to Selby.
Both races will share the same courses on May 3 and May 4. Stage 2 for the men will also mark the opener for the women's race as both pelotons tackle a 132km stage from Barnsley to Bedale. The following day takes the races along the Yorkshire coast for 132km from Bridlington to Scarborough, where the women's overall race concludes. The men's race ends Sunday, May 5, with 175km from Halifax to Leeds.
"We're blessed with such a diversity of landscapes here in Yorkshire to create such challenging and exciting routes, and we wanted the parcours to reflect that, showcasing the county in all its glory," said Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire. "There's something for everyone; the sprinters will get their chance to shine while the classics specialists and climbers will also have opportunities to make their mark."
The men's opener on Thursday, May 2, will start in Doncaster before heading toward Beverley. The first intermediate sprint will be contested in Elloughton before the peloton sweeps into Beverley. Not long after, they will reach the Yorkshire Wolds course and tackle the first classified climb at Baggaby Hill. A brisk descent into Pocklington leads to the second intermediate sprint. The stage will finish in in front of Selby Abbey, which will be celebrating its 950th anniversary.
Friday will see the women's race begin with a morning start in Barnsley. The men's stage starts in the afternoon. The course takes riders towards Pontefract for the first intermediate sprint, before the peloton starts climbing the Côte de Lindley, the first of five new climbs on the 2019 route. From there, the peloton will race to Harrogate, where the riders have the chance to tackle the exact same circuit being used at the 2019 UCI Road World Championships. An intermediate sprint has been added along Parliament Street where the Worlds finish line will be. Once that loop has been completed, the stage will continue north through Ripon before an expected bunch sprint in the centre of Bedale.
Saturday will take riders along the Yorkshire coast as both races start in Bridlington and immediately head into the North York Moors National Park. An intermediate sprint in Hackness leads to the Côte de Silpho. The route then continues north and begins an undulating 52km loop. The Côte de Hooks House Farm is next, followed by a second intermediate sprint in front of Whitby Abbey. The Côte de Lythe Bank is waiting in Sandsend before the race heads inland and the Côtes de Grosmont and Ugglebarnby, which are just seven kilometres apart. The race then drops out of the loop into Scarborough. The sprint trains will drive the pace along South Bay, around the castle walls and onto the finish along North Bay. The winner of the Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women's Race will be crowned here before the men's penultimate stage sweeps into town.
The men's stage concludes the following day on with a start at Piece Hall in Halifax. Haworth's cobbled Main Street features once again, but the real climbing begins on the Côte de Goose Eye. The next classified climb comes on the Côte de Barden Moor. From there, the race heads into the Yorkshire Dales National Park, where the riders will contest their first intermediate sprint at Kilnsey Crag.
The peloton takes on the Côte de Park Rash next before a gradual descent into Middleham. The Côte de Greenhow Hill is the next challenge, followed by the final categorised climb on Otley Chevin. One last intermediate sprint in Tinshill sets up the mad dash for the final finish line along the Headrow in the heart of the city centre.
"Once again, the team at Welcome to Yorkshire have done a tremendous job in designing such a beautiful, challenging and varied route, and I am looking forward to seeing how both races play out," said Christian Prudhomme, Tour de France Director for the ASO, the Tour de Yorkshire's technical partner. "Including the Harrogate circuit gives the race an added dimension next year and we want The Yorkshire Classic stage of the men's race to become one of the most anticipated dates on the professional cycling calendar."
Verity said with the UCI Road World Championships also taking place in Yorkshire next year, organisers are expecting the strongest-ever field for the race's fifth year.
"This will be the only chance the riders get to sample the Harrogate circuit under race conditions before it, and the only chance they get to ride up Parliament Street against the usual flow of traffic," he said.
"I'm also proud that we're continuing to lead the way when it comes to promoting women's cycling," Verity said. "Changing the start of the women's race from Thursday to Friday should guarantee greater exposure, and the routes for the two stages are now exactly the same as the men's. That means there's over 1,000 metres more cumulative climbing than last year, and we'll be in for some enthralling racing."
2019 Tour de Yorkshire
Thursday, May 2 - Stage 1: Doncaster to Selby, 178.5km
Friday, May 3 - Stage 2: Barnsley to Bedale, 132km
Saturday, May 4 - Stage 3: Bridlington to Scarborough, 132km
Sunday, May 5 - Stage 4: Halifax to Leeds, 175km
Friday, May 3 - Stage 1: Barnsley to Bedale, 132km
Saturday, May 4 - Stage 2: Bridlington to Scarborough, 132km