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Beverley hosts start of 2018 Tour de Yorkshire

Beverley has been confirmed as the host town for the start of both the men’s and women’s 2018 Tour de Yorkshire races. Much of the first day of the men’s race, on Thursday, May 3rd, will be contested in the East Riding before the peloton heads to the stage finish in Doncaster. The ceremonial start for the men’s race will take place in Beverley’s Saturday Market before heading out through Norwood to the official start at Tickton.

The riders will then cycle to Catwick and Hornsea, loop around Hornsea Mere, through Great Hatfield, New Ellerby and Skirlaugh back to Beverley, where they go past the Minster and out onto the A164 to Skidby, Little Weighton, Walkington, South Dalton, North Dalton and Warter – where the first King of the Mountain stage will be contested at Baggaby Hill. There will then be a sprint in Pocklington before heading out of the town towards Howden and a route that finishes in Doncaster.

The women’s race will have its ceremonial start in Beverley and will largely follow the same route as the men’s race, except for the Hornsea loop, with the official start at Bentley. Next year’s events have been extended, with the men’s race running for four days from Thursday, May 3rd to Sunday, May 6th and the Women’s Tour de Yorkshire doubling in size from one to two days – from Thursday, May 3rd to Friday, May 4th.

Councillor Stephen Parnaby, leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “Today’s announcement by Welcome to Yorkshire and the Amuary Sports Organisation is really exciting for the East Riding, with Beverley hosting the race starts of both the men’s and women’s editions of the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire.

“Since its inception, the Tour de Yorkshire has passed through a number of different locations over the years and 2018 will be the same – with parts of Holderness, Goole and Howdenshire making their debut.

“With the event continuing to grow in popularity – attracting 2.2 million spectators in 2017 and generating around £64 million for the county’s economy – it is fantastic for residents to see some of the world’s top cyclists up close and in person as well as a real opportunity for businesses to make the most of increased visitor spend.”

This, the fourth edition of the race, encompasses all four corners of the county and takes in 169 villages, towns and cities along the way.

STAGE ONE: 182km – ARTS AND CULTURE – BEVERLEY TO DONCASTER Thursday 3 May:

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.

STAGE TWO: 149km – YORKSHIRE HERITAGE – BARNSLEY TO ILKLEY Friday 4 May

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.

STAGE THREE: 184km – MARKET TOWNS – RICHMOND TO SCARBOROUGH Saturday 5 May

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.

STAGE FOUR: 189.5km – THE YORKSHIRE TERRIER – HALIFAX TO LEEDS Sunday 6 May

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.

For further information about the Tour de Yorkshire, visit www.letouryorkshire.com