THEY are names that will be on the lips of proud Tykes everywhere during next month’s inaugural Tour de Yorkshire cycle race.
The riders set to take part in the three-day sporting extravaganza were today announced by co-organiser Welcome To Yorkshire.
Yorkshire cycling fans will be pleased to hear that plenty of local heroes should be lining up alongside the likes of Sir Bradley Wiggins, Germany’s Marcel Kittel and Spain’s Samuel Sanchez.
The long list of competitors with links to the Broad Acres is headed by Rotherham road racing star Ben Swift and Barnsley’s double Olympic gold medallist Ed Clancy.
Rotherham’s Russ Downing, Skipton’s Pete Williams, Doncaster’s Tom Stewart and Leeds’s Liam Holohan are also preparing to fly the flag for Yorkshire.
Holmfirth’s Gabriel Cullaigh, meanwhile, is due to ride for a Great Britain team that counts Pool in Wharfedale’s Josh Edmondson among its reserves.
Welcome To Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity said: “We always wanted to get a mix of international and Yorkshire riders.
“Some of the Yorkshire riders will already be known to many people while there are others that they may not know but very soon will do.” Mr Verity said Ben Swift was “very pumped up” for the event – and predicted that residents the length and breadth of Yorkshire would be feeling the same way come the opening race day.
He told The Yorkshire Post: “It’s been a gradual build-up but now you can see the bunting being put in place and the homes and businesses being decorated and so on. The county is planning where it is going to watch the Tour de Yorkshire and that’s great to know.”
Around one million spectators are expected to turn out for the event, which is being staged to try to build on the huge success of the county’s hosting of the opening sections of last year’s Tour de France.
Friday, May 1, will see riders racing from Bridlington to Scarborough via Whitby and Robin Hood’s Bay before they make their way from Selby to York the following day. Then, on May 3, the field will set out from Wakefield and speed through communities including Barnsley, Holmfirth, Ripponden, Hebden Bridge, Haworth, Ilkley and Otley bound for a finish line in Leeds’s Roundhay Park.
Welcome To Yorkshire’s experts say that, given the right weather and conditions, the event could be worth as much as £40m to the county’s economy, with TV coverage of the action being screened in more than 100 countries. North Yorkshire County Council is warning people to prepare for road closures around Whitby’s harbour area on May 1. Routes in Scarborough due to be closed for part of the same day include Marine Drive, Sandside and Vernon Road.
Council leader John Weighell said: “This is a fantastic event which builds on last year’s Tour de France, and once again the benefits to North Yorkshire will be enormous, both in the immediate term and the longer term.
“We want to make sure that everything is in place to make it a huge success and ensures the race passes off smoothly for everyone – for the competitors, for the spectators and for all other residents and highways users.”
BRITISH AND YORKSHIRE RIDERS INVOLVED
Pro Tour teams:
Sky: Ben Swift (Yorkshire), Andy Fenn, Peter Kennaugh (R), Ian Stannard (R)
Pro Conti teams:
Cult Energy Pro Cycling: Russ Downing (Yorkshire)
MTN-Qhubeka: Steve Cummings
Team Wiggins: Bradley Wiggins, Owain Doull, John Dibben, Steven Burke, Mark Christian, Chris Lawless, Daniel Patten, Andy Tennant, Iain Paton (R), Michael Thompson (R)
Great Britain: Germain Burton, Gabriel Cullaigh (Yorkshire), Josh Edmondson (Yorkshire, R), Scott Davies, Matthew Gibson, Jake Kelly, Chris Latham, Mark Stewart, Oliver Wood (Yorkshire, R), Grant Ferguson, Tao Geoghegan-Hart (R)
JLT Condor: Ed Clancy (Yorkshire), Kristian House, Graham Briggs (Yorkshire), Mike Cumming, Luke Greivell-Mellor, Richard Handley, Tom Moses (Yorkshire), Joseph Moses (Yorkshire, R), Harry Tanfield (Yorkshire, R)
Madison Genesis: Erick Rowsell, Tom Scully, Matt Cronshaw, Liam Holohan, James McLaughlin, Mark McNally, Tom Stewart, Matt Holmes (R), Tobyn Horton (R), Dom Jelfs (R)
ONE Pro Cycling: Yanto Barker, Pete Williams, George Atkins, George Harper, Josh Hunt, Jon Mould, Chris Opie, Thomas Bayliss (R) Dexter Gardias (R), Sam Williams
NFTO: Tom Barras, Ian Bibby, Sam Harrison, James Lowsley-Williams, Jonny McEvoy, Robert Partridge, Dale Appleby (R), Edmund Bradbury (R), Rhys Lloyd (R), Zachary May (R)
Team Raleigh GAC: Steve Lampier, Ian Wilkinson, Samual Lowe, Bradley Morgan, Evan Oliphant, Ian Wilkinson, Andrew Hawdon (R)