A look ahead to the second Tour de Yorkshire

Tour de Yorkshire Stage One in Bridlington last year Photo Simon Wilkinson

Tour de Yorkshire Stage One in Bridlington last year Photo Simon Wilkinson - Credit: Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com

Excitement builds as riders and fans get ready to welcome this year’s Tour de Yorkshire

The Tour de Yorkshire trophy

The Tour de Yorkshire trophy - Credit: Archant

Preparations for the second Tour de Yorkshire are well underway. This year’s route has been announced and this month the Tour de Yorkshire trophy begins its tour of the region. Each local authority will showcase the Y shaped trophy ahead of the race weekend from April 29th-May 1st and plans include visits to schools as well as events in start and finish towns.

The tour begins in Doncaster on Monday, April 11th, before heading to Middlesbrough on Tuesday, April 12th, Scarborough on Wednesday, April 13th, Beverley on Monday, April 18th, Settle on Wednesday, April 20th and Otley on Friday, April 22nd.

The trophy, designed and made by hand at world leading trophy makers Thomas Fattorini Ltd, was won by Team Sky’s Lars Petter Nordhaug in 2015. A new addition for 2016 is a women’s race trophy, also being made by Fattorini’s which will be awarded to the winner of the one-day race that takes place before the men’s stage on Saturday April 29th.

Tom Fattorini, of Thomas Fattorini Ltd, said: ‘Being a Yorkshire company it was an honour for us to be asked to make the trophy for the Tour de Yorkshire. I look forward to seeing the excitement it brings to local communities before being awarded to the race winner.’

The route

The route will take the 18 teams of eight riders to all four corners of Yorkshire, linking together the county’s sporting, historic, industrial and literary greats.

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Stage One begins in Beverley, home to one of England’s finest minsters, before the peloton races to Tadcaster and on to Knaresborough which was the scene of some of the biggest crowds for the Tour de France in 2014. A series of climbs takes the riders past Brimham Rocks before a finish in Settle.

Stage Two, men and women will face exactly the same stage which starts in Otley, home of the current women’s road World Champion Lizzie Armitstead. From Otley riders travel south, on roads not raced on in the Tour de France or Tour de Yorkshire, towards Conisbrough Castle and on to Doncaster.

Stage Three will be familiar to those who raced in 2015, starting in Captain James Cook’s home town of Middlesbrough, then into Herriot Country before tackling Sutton Bank, the first of six King of the Mountain points in just one stage. Riders then head over the North York Moors and down towards Scarborough for a race to the very end.

Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said routes had been selected to showcase ‘Yorkshire’s stunning scenery and deliver an excellent sporting event’. He added: ‘Our first race was phenomenally successful, bringing 1.5 million spectators to the roadside, generating over £50million for the regional economy and being broadcast around the world - not many races can say that.’

In addition to the professional races, the Maserati Tour de Yorkshire Ride will give amateur cyclists the chance to ride many of the roads ridden by the professionals in a newly designed sportive route, which will start and finish in Scarborough. The sportive route will follow parts of Stage Three of the men’s race and take in several alternative roads to allow for all 6,000 participants to finish in their own time.

Amateur riders finish with a 1km sea-front sprint finish and crossing the same finish line as the professional riders with the same support from the waiting crowds. There will be three distances for riders to choose from: 40km, 85km and 115km.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is the official charity for the Tour de Yorkshire. All money raised through the partnership with the Tour de Yorkshire will be re-invested into RNLI activity in Yorkshire. There are nine RNLI lifeboat stations in Yorkshire and in 2014 volunteer crews from these lifeboat stations rescued 275 people.

The RNLI’s activity benefits communities around the UK and Ireland, and most recently the RNLI Flood Rescue Team helped more than 300 people over a three day deployment during flooding in Cumbria.

Leesa Harwood, RNLI community lifesaving and fundraising director, said: ‘The RNLI relies on voluntary donations and without our supporters we simply wouldn’t be able to provide crews with the equipment and training they need, or fund our safety programmes to help educate children and adults alike about how to keep out of danger at the coast and on inland waterways.’

A brand new commemorative jersey – short sleeve jersey featuring the Yorkshire rose, the names of each host town, the Tour de Yorkshire logo and a distinctive Y pattern – has been designed by Milltag which has also designed and produced the podium jerseys for the race winners, as they did last year.

Ed Cowburn of Milltag, said the greatest difference this year is the colour. ‘A darker blue has been added as a nod to the colours of back-to-back champions – Yorkshire County Cricket Club. To celebrate the start and finish towns for each stage, we have created a graphic focussed around a Yorkshire rose that appears subtly on the back of jersey and will feature across the race winners’ jerseys too. The Y pattern inspired by Yorkshire’s textile heritage also features, as it did last year.’

A competition has also been launched to bring giant land art to the tour de Yorkshire route. Businesses, landowners, farmers, schools and community groups are invited to get creative and enter a brand new competition.

The public will then be able to vote for their favourite installation over the race weekend and during the days that follow, with the winner taking home the Lining the Route land art trophy.

Sir Gary Verity added: ‘Yorkshire’s land art has attracted a lot of attention in the past, with people creating everything from multi-coloured sheep and spotty houses, to huge murals and striking street art.

‘With coverage of this year’s Tour de Yorkshire set to be broadcast to countries around the globe, this is the perfect opportunity to celebrate your community and shout to the world about what Yorkshire has to offer.’

The launch of the competition coincided with the opening of the newest Yorkshire Bank Bike Library which opened in Moor Allerton, Leeds. The library is the latest in a chain of 22 across Yorkshire and will be run by Leeds City Council. It will also operate at Dewsbury Road, St Georges Centre and Compton Centre libraries. More than 8,000 children across Yorkshire have had access to a bike. All bikes are loaned for free. w

For full Tour de Yorkshire details go to letouryorkshire.com