A look ahead to the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire

LePetit Depart Kilnsey Crag

LePetit Depart Kilnsey Crag - Credit: Archant

Excitement grows as the last minute details of the first Tour de Yorkshire are put in place

LePetit Depart Settle climb

LePetit Depart Settle climb - Credit: Archant

The biggest names in cycling are preparing to take part in the inaugural race of the Tour de Yorkshire at the beginning of May. They include Team Sky, Team Giant Alpecin and Team Wiggins. There will be 16 teams in total with over 100 riders taking part. Tour de France 2012 winner Sir Bradley is set to lead his own Team Wiggins development squad while Marcel Kittel prepares to return to Yorkshire nearly a year after wearing the first yellow jersey in Harrogate in the Tour de France 2014.

Former England cricket star Matt Prior announced his team, ONE Pro Cycling, will also be taking part and said: ‘We are incredibly excited and proud to be racing in the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire, particularly in our first year. The Grand Départ in Yorkshire was a huge inspiration for us setting up this team as it showed the level of interest there is in cycling and racing in the UK. Our riders will be massively looking forward to being on the start line with some of the biggest teams in the world.’

Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour de France, said: ‘The Tour de Yorkshire is another occasion to showcase the outstanding landscapes of the county, especially of the coast where we didn’t go last year with Le Tour. Tour de Yorkshire will be a great opportunity to review young talents among British riders and enable them to ride with top Tour de France professional teams and cycling stars like Sir Bradley Wiggins and Marcel Kittel.’ One of the first major names confirmed for the women’s race on day two is Dame Sarah Storey, one of Great Britain’s most decorated female paralympians in history with 11 gold, eight silver and three bronze medals across six Paralympic Games.

In 2014 Sarah together with her husband established women’s team Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International which dominated the UK domestic racing scene in their first season and will be racing the Women’s Tour de Yorkshire.

Children from Brudenell Primary School, Leeds, with the new Tour de Yorkshire trophy made by Thomas

Children from Brudenell Primary School, Leeds, with the new Tour de Yorkshire trophy made by Thomas Fattorini Ltd - Credit: Archant

A great deal of work has gone on behind the scenes to ensure the success of the event including an international marketing campaign launched by Welcome to Yorkshire with Visit Britain to promote the region in the run up to the race particularly in France, Germany and the Netherlands. A new film to promote the county and the cycle race was premiered at the Y15 tourism conference in Scarborough earlier this year featuring aerial footage of iconic locations showcasing Yorkshire as a ‘must see’ destination for visitors from within the UK and overseas.

The race will be shown live on television in the UK on ITV, on Eurosport and in more than 70 countries around the world – a huge television audience is expected.

Meanwhile Tour de Yorkshire roadshows have been held in cities, towns and villages along the route to help businesses and communities make the most of the event. Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: ‘Our aim is for the Tour de Yorkshire to be one of the biggest and best three-day races in the world and this incredible line-up is evidence that we can achieve that. It’s a testament to our county that some of the top riders in the world want to come here. We are going to put on a show people will remember for the rest of their lives, whether they’re lining the route or watching on TV as it is broadcast to countries around the world.’

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The Tour de Yorkshire takes place on May 1st-3rd. Stage 1 on Friday May 1st starts in Bridlington and finishes in Scarborough. Stage 2 on Saturday May 2nd starts in Selby and finishes in York with a women’s race also on day two. Stage 3 on Sunday May 3rd starts in Wakefield and finishes in Leeds.

LePetit Depart Kidstones

LePetit Depart Kidstones - Credit: Archant

A mini guide to the Tour de Yorkshire

Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race

The first Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Road Race is being held along the York circuit of the Tour de Yorkshire over four laps of a 20km circuit on May 2nd. The race starts at 11am.

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: ‘We promised from the start to bring more women’s racing to Yorkshire’s roads and by hosting this race and taking advantage of the spectators, race infrastructure and media spotlight already on York that day, we’ll show women’s racing off to the world.’

It’s hoped the Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race and the women only mass participation cycling event on Sunday, May 3rd in which hundreds of women are expected to take part.

Bob Howden, president of British Cycling said: ‘This is a fantastic new addition to the calendar and a great showcase for women’s racing. The York circuit is set for huge crowds and a superb atmosphere, so we look forward to an action packed day.’

Kersten England, chief executive of City of York Council, said they were proud to be hosting the women’s race and showcase some of the UK’s best female racing talent. ‘It’s a great circuit to show off some of the beauty of York and spectators will be in for a fantastic race to come and watch,’ added Kersten England.

The women’s only mass participation cycle ride – the Cycletta – takes place on Sunday, May 3rd when hundreds of women are expected to take part in the event which will include part of Stage 3 of the Tour de Yorkshire.

Tour trophy

One of the world’s leading trophy makers has created the Tour de Yorkshire trophy which will be presented to the overall winner. The new trophy has been crafted in the shape of the letter Y for Yorkshire by Thomas Fattorini Ltd. Thomas Fattorini Ltd was originally founded in Yorkshire in 1827 by Antonio Fattorini, a European immigrant who settled in the county where he then established a number of retail outlets.

One part of the company, known then as Fattorini & Sons of Bradford, made the FA Cup trophy which Bradford City won that very first year in 1911. The company also made the Rugby League Challenge Cup.

The new trophy was unveiled at Brudenell Primary School in Leeds where children got a sneak peak of the trophy. Tom Fattorini, director of sales and marketing at Thomas Fattorini Ltd, said: ‘We do business internationally, supplying trophies to the likes of FIFA, and when we were invited to support the production of the Tour de Yorkshire trophy and medals we felt it was a perfect fit given our Yorkshire history. We look forward to the winner proudly showing off the new trophy to the world on May 3rd.’

The trophy will take a mini-tour around the county during the next few weeks before being presented to the winner with the trophy in Roundhay Park in Leeds.

Michelin star treat

Maserati, the luxury car manufacturer, has recruited Michelin-starred chef, Alan Murchison, an age-group duathlon world champion, to prepare food at one of its sportive ride feed stations. The exact recipes remain under wraps, but Murchison is excited by the challenge. He said: ‘I’m a keen cyclist and I know how tired you can get of sticky sports nutrition by the end of a ride. I will be looking to use fresh Yorkshire produce and apply an Italian twist to surprise and delight riders, and give them the boost they need to see them home.’

The Maserati Tour de Yorkshire Ride starts and finishes at Roundhay Park, Leeds on Sunday morning, May 3rd and precedes the third and final stage of the Tour de Yorkshire Pro race later that day.

Yorkshire Dales sportive

Le Petit Depart is returning after its successful inaugural event last year which coincided with the Yorkshire Grand Depart, when it attracted 900 cyclists who tried Stage 1 route of the Tour, north of Skipton. The event this year aims to be better than ever with an improved 38-mile recreation ride, taking in Bolton Abbey as well as the 80-mile sportive route which follows much of last year’s Tour de France Grand Depart Stage 1, over three climbs and along six dales.

The two routes means there is something for novices and more experienced riders to enjoy in the Yorkshire Dales. The event on May 31st is organised by Craven District Council and supported by Skipton Cycle Club. It forms a key element of the council’s Cycle Yorkshire Legacy work inspired by the Tour de France.

The council has supported the club with a grant to qualify coaches and set up a Skipton Junior Riders, which is now a British Cycling Go Ride club. The club used the event last year to raise more than £3,500 for Skipton Junior Riders. Skipton Cycle Club chairman Sean McKibben said: ‘The club volunteers did a magnificent job in putting on this event last year. The feedback from riders was brilliant and made us really proud of what we achieved. We look forward to putting on another great show at the end of May…see you there?’ More information at lepetitdepart.co.uk