Feature: Route for Tour de Yorkshire

On Tuesday, the route for the Four day Men’s and Two Day Women’s Tour of Yorkshire was launched in Halifax – VeloUK was there

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Feature: Route for Tour de Yorkshire

On Tuesday, the full route for the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire (men’s and Women’s) was unveiled at the Piece Hall in Halifax. Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive Sir Gary Verity led a packed press conference on Tuesday morning with the Amaury Sport Organisation’s Tour de France Director Christian Prudhomme.

Mark Cavendish – winner of 30 Tour de France stages, a UCI Road World Championship and numerous other accolades – was one of the many star riders in attendance along with a host of Yorkshire cycling legends such as Brian Robinson (Tour de France stage winner), Malcolm Elliott, Scott Thwaites, former World Champion Colin Sturgess and Denise Burton-Cole.

Mark Cavendish: When asked about the route for the race, he replied “It’s hard isnt it! That’s what makes Yorkshire so great for cycling, its a place you can ride such a diverse terrain. More than anything, it doesn’t matter what the route is, it’s the fans that make the race. It’s the fans that made the Tour de France when it was here. In the peloton now, the Grand Departe in Yorkshire is stall talked about as being the best that anyone of my generation has seen, I don’t know what it was like before that but I reckon they would say the same as well.”

Asked if he will be on the start line in 2018 Mark replied “I hope so, I would have been this year but I was watching it at home with glandular fever and it was an incredible race and a wicked race to watch.”

“It will be good as it is always good to race here but we have to balance the team out as we have a guy here (Scott Thwaites) who could win the overall especially as its in Scotts home town as well so we’ll come with a strong team and we’ll want to do a good show.”

Scott Thwaites – Asked he fancies the finish at Cow and Calf (home area), he replied “I’m not too sure! It is certainly a tough climb as everyone who has ridden it will know. It is amazing to have a summit finish in the Tour of Yorkshire, something we haven’t had before, and I think it would be a great spectactle and the crowds will be amazing and it would be a dream of mine to win up there in front of my home fans. I just hope I get my chance to show what I can do”.

David Millar: “When I firsts aw racing here, it reminded me of a perfect combination of Flanders and the Ardennes, it has a mixture of everything. Stages for Mark and stages for Scott … see the whole interviews in the video below.

Matt Holmes (Madison Genesis) – 5th overall in 2017 – “The Tour de Yorkshire is a major target for the team each year and after finishing fifth this year, it will be a personal objective for me next season. It’s very important because it’s a great platform to show yourself and your sponsors to millions of spectators, both on the roadside and watching at home on TV.The Tour de Yorkshire climbs always tend to suit my riding style and 2018 is no exception.”

“I know most of the climbs already from training in the area.The addition of a fourth day of racing will make it more exciting to watch. Teams will find it very hard to control, as Yorkshire provides a perfect backdrop for another spectacular race. Stage 2 is the stage I’m mostly looking forward to because of the short, sharp hilltop finish. I think this stage could decide the overall winner. If somebody can get a small gap in the final steep metres of the climb that could be enough to win the whole race.” Read the full interview here

Connor Swift (Madison Genesis): Asked what he thought about the route for the 2018 Tour of Yorkshire, he replied “It’s got a lot of variety next year and stage 1, that looks like being a sprint day for sure.”

“There will be gaps in the GC after the finish up the Cow and Calf (stage 2) and then on stage 3, I expect it will be another fast day even though there are some categorised climbs in there like Sutton Bank. I have never ridden up there; been up in the car and it takes its toll on that so it will be tough on the legs but it could be a sprint day into Scarborough where its finished before and that will see some fantastic crowds. Stage 4 will be a very long day just as it was this year on the final stage!” Read the full interview here


The fourth edition of the race has been expanded from three to four stages and will take place between 3-6 May 2018. It encompasses all four corners of the county and takes in 169 villages, towns and cities along the way:


Click to see large version of map

The race gets going in Beverley’s historic market place before proceeding to the seaside resort of Hornsea. The peloton will then tackle a 16km loop before heading back through Beverley and into the Yorkshire Wolds.

The first classified climb at Baggaby Hill will get the legs pumping before a brisk descent into Pocklington for the opening intermediate sprint. After passing through Holme-on-Spalding Moor the pace will gradually ramp up again for a second sprint in Howden and then it’s full steam into Doncaster on the newly opened Great Yorkshire Way. The riders will sweep past the world-famous Racecourse before a flat-out finish along South Parade.

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Click to see a large version of this map

The peloton will start outside Barnsley’s impressive Town Hall and head towards Penistone. The route ventures into Worsbrough and the first mountains classification points are up for grabs at Blacker Hill.

With those in the bag the race will pass through Elsecar before an intermediate sprint is contested in Swinton. Conisbrough Castle provides a stunning backdrop before the riders continue north for a second intermediate sprint in Scholes, and Harewood House also makes an appearance prior to the classified Côte de Old Pool Bank climb. The route will then pass through Otley and Ilkley before reaching the race’s first-ever summit finish on the Cow and Calf.

In an added twist, King of the Mountains points will also be on offer right before the stage winner is crowned on top of this iconic Yorkshire climb.


Click to see a large version of this map

The riders will roll out of Richmond’s cobbled market place and head to Catterick Garrison before the start flag is lowered. They’ll then traverse Wensleydale and continue in an easterly direction at Leyburn, on to Morton on Swale where the first intermediate sprint will be fought out. Northallerton and Thirsk will then provide warm welcomes, and no sooner have the riders crossed into the North York Moors than they’ll be faced with the fearsome Sutton Bank climb.

The first contenders over the top there will be rewarded with points in the mountains classification. The action then passes through Helmsley and on to Pickering for a second intermediate sprint. The climbers will be looking to come to the fore again on the Côte de Silpho before the race breezes into Scarborough for the first time.

Hugging the east coast, the peloton will continue on to Filey and sample its picturesque seafront before heading inland and back towards Scarborough. The frontrunners will sweep along South Bay, around the castle walls, and onto the now-legendary finish along North Bay.

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Click to see a large version of this map

The Piece Hall in Halifax provides a spectacular location for the start of this decisive stage and the first of six categorised climbs comes on the Côte de Hebden Bridge. The race will head up the cobbled Main Street in Haworth before dropping into Goose Eye for the next punishing ascent. Crossing from Brontë Country into Craven, the route heads through Skipton and the next climb is looming on Barden Moor.

The action will then head into the Dales before the riders contest the first intermediate sprint in view of Kilnsey Crag. The Côte de Park Rash will no-doubt cement its place in Tour de Yorkshire folklore as the peloton grind their way up it, and the route continues on to Masham and then into Nidderdale before making a return to the formidable Côte de Greenhow Hill for the first time since 2016.

The undulating terrain never relents and shortly after passing through Otley the next categorised climb is on the cards at Otley Chevin. If that wasn’t enough, the Côte de Black Hill Road must also be crested before the race sweeps into Leeds and reaches a rip-roaring conclusion on The Headrow – on exactly the same spot as where the Tour de France started in 2014.

Sir Gary Verity said: “It was a proud moment unveiling the full route today. We’ve worked hard to design a dramatic and varied parcours which takes in some of our county’s most spectacular terrain. I’m sure the world’s best riders will relish the challenge it poses and we’ll be treated to a tremendous fourth edition.

“Last year’s race attracted 2.2 million spectators and generated £64 million for the local economy, and now that is has been extended from three to four days, the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire promises to be the biggest and best one yet.”

Christian Prudhomme said: “Gary and his team have done a fantastic job and I am excited by what next year’s route has in store. I enjoy coming to Yorkshire and the county always puts on a tremendous show. Seeing the race finish on The Headrow in Leeds will be particularly special and bring back a lot of happy memories from when the Tour de France started there in 2014. I still regard that as one of our grandest Grand Départs and I’m sure we’ll be in for another memorable day. The way Yorkshire supports cycling is incredible and I look forward to seeing more bikes, banners and bunting in 2018.”

Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race
Following its phenomenal success over the last three years, the Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race will double in size from one day to two in 2018 and take place on 3-4 May. It will once again offer one of the largest prize pots in the sport and a stellar cast of riders will be on hand to compete on Yorkshire roads. The stages will start each morning and follow the last 132km and 121.5km respectively of the men’s stages which commence later each day.

Sophie Thackray , Gabby Shaw and Annie Simpson talking about the Women’s stages at the Tour de Yorkshire launch

Click to see a large version of this map

Click to see a larger version of this map

Sir Gary Verity said: “We are proud of our commitment to promoting women’s cycling and are delighted to see the Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race doubling in size in 2018. Expanding the race to two days means we can offer our most varied route yet which will challenge the world’s best riders. Both stages will feature the same sprints and climbs as the men and the atmosphere on the Cow and Calf for the race’s culmination is sure to be electric.”


• The Tour de Yorkshire was launched in 2015 as a legacy of the 2014 Grand Départ. It is organised by Welcome to Yorkshire and the Amaury Sport Organisation.
• The men’s race holds a 2.1 UCI Europe Tour classification.
• The Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race was awarded 1.2 status in 2016.
• 2.2 million spectators lined the route for the 2017 edition, up from 2 million in 2016.
• The 2017 edition was watched by 9.7 million TV viewers in 180 countries.
• The 2017 edition generated £64 million for the Yorkshire economy.
• The race is supported by Yorkshire Bank, Yorkshire Bank Bike Libraries, Asda, Virgin Trains East Coast, Dimension Data, Mug Shot, RAGT Seeds, Named Sport, JCT600, Tissot, Le Coq Sportif and Mavic.



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