Hours before world-leading cyclists power through Yorkshire this summer, amateurs are being given the chance to saddle up.
The debut three-day Tour de Yorkshire (TdY) cycling event, which will run from May 1 to 3, will offer thousands of fans and enthusiasts the chance to ride up to 140km before crossing the same Roundhay Park finishing line as the pros on May 3.
Amateurs will have the option of 50km, 100km or 140km routes or a 50km female-only Cycletta sportive – the longest taking in sections of Yorkshire’s two Tour de France Grand Depart 2014 stages.
Earlier this month it was announced that the UCI-approved TdY will feature a May 1 Bridlington to Scarborough stage and a ride from Selby to York on day two before the Wakefield to Leeds finale on May 3.
Gary Verity, chief executive of tourism firm Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “This is such an exciting opportunity for Yorkshire. The Tour de Yorkshire is all about growing the visitor economy and this event, with thousands taking part from all over the UK and overseas, will bring even more people to visit our county.”
The 140km sportive route will start and finish in Roundhay Park, taking in four categorised climbs on its way through Pool Bank, Oxenhope Moor, Haworth’s cobbles, Sutton-in-Craven, Addingham, Ilkley’s Cow and Calf and the East Chevin. The event is being supported by five-time Tour de France winner, Bernard Hinault, who will be giving sportive riders tips.
Hours after its finish, pro riders will cycle through Wakefield, Barnsley, Hebden Bridge, Haworth, Ilkley and Arthington before finishing the TdY stage three in Roundhay Park.
Nick Rusling is chief executive of Human Race, which is delivering the sportive with ASO and Welcome to Yorkshire.
He said: “We have the ability to deliver something unique for thousands of cyclists on May 3 by combining the aura of the Tour de Yorkshire and Tour de France legacy in combination with the hospitality and stunning roads of Yorkshire. For sportive riders of all abilities – this will be an experience you won’t forget.”
TdY is an international cycle race aimed at making the most of the cycling legacy of the 2014 Grand Depart, which brought £102million into Yorkshire.
To pre-register for the Tour de Yorkshire sportive visit letouryorkshire.com/sportive. Entries will officially open on February 4.