The first ever Tour de Yorkshire route was announced today, as part of the legacy of the Tour de France's Grand Depart which took place in the county last year.
The three-day stage race includes parts of Yorkshire that missed out on their chance to get involved in 2014's hugely successful Grand Depart, whilst also having stage finishes in the major cities of York and Leeds that hosted Tour de France stages.
The day of the stage finish into York also includes a women's race that will be held around the city on May 2nd, before the men's peloton arrives. The following day includes an amateur sportive that will take place on the same roads as the professionals.
Yorkshire aims to cement its cycling legacy
Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Visit Yorkshire, told the Guardian: "We wanted the link to the Tour de France but it’s not all about the Tour. It was very important to include the coast – we wanted one very tough stage – and it was very important to include a women’s race."
Each stage brings different challenges to the peloton which could consist of Bradley Wiggins new team WIGGINS. The first stage starts and ends on the east coast of Yorkshire, with the riders setting off from Bridlington before the long run in along to coast into Scarborough.
Conditions sure to play a part
Stage 2 looks set to culminate in a sprint finish into York, in what looks on paper the easiest stage of the race starting in Selby. Verity has a warning for riders who may be saving their legs for a tough third stage though: “These roads are a doddle on a nice day, but in a bit of a breeze they take on a different complexion, there is no shelter!”
The final stage from Wakefield to Leeds is based on the 'Liege- Bastogne- Liege' one day classic, with 6 categorised climbs which culminate in 3,100m of climbing.
This stage is similar to stage 2 of last year's Grand Depart when Tour de France winner Vincenzo Nibali broke away in the final kilometre to take hold of the maillot jaune for the first time.
16 teams will be invited to compete in the inaugural race, in what is set to be one of the highlights of the British cycling calendar.