World class cycling will return to Leeds and take in the Yorkshire coast for the first time next summer, after details of the debut Tour de Yorkshire cycle race were revealed.
Leeds, York, Wakefield, Scarborough, Selby and Bridlington will each get a slice of the action as start or finish points of the three races during the May 1 to 3 spectacle.
The announcement by Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity follows a year in which the county gave the Tour de France its “grandest Grand Depart” when over 3million spectators lined the July 5 and 6 stage routes.
The race is being organised by Welcome to Yorkshire, Tour de France owners Amaury Sport Organisation and regional local authorities. It will include a men’s stage race on each of the three days and a women’s race on May 2.
Mr Verity said: “This is the first ever Tour de Yorkshire, I am confident it will become a huge annual event and something that will raise Yorkshire’s profile year on year.”
Last week it emerged that City of York Council agreed to contribute £150,000 in running costs to the event and will seek external funding to pay for its “hosting fee”, while Scarborough Borough Council committed £135,000 including running costs and a hosting fee. Local authority contributions are expected to gradually be released by each council.
Coun Lucinda Yeadon, executive member for leisure at Leeds City Council, said: “It’s carrying on the legacy which started this year and gives people the opportunity to get involved with another great event in the city.”
The full race routes will be announced on January 21.
DAY THREE SPORTIVE OPEN TO ALL
A mass sportive over several distances will see amateurs get the chance to ride the same route as the professionals on day three of the Tour de Yorkshire.
Thousands are expected to take part in the ride on May 3, inspired by the Tour de France’s L’Etape du Tour and delivered by Human Race – owners of the Dragon Ride – in collaboration with the Tour de Yorkshire organisers.
Riders can register their interest at www.letouryorkshire.com.
Bernard Hinault, five times Tour de France winner, said: “To have this similar experience available at the Tour de Yorkshire will be magnifique and something all keen riders will want to be part of.”