As next door neighbours go, Yorkshire is alright. Despite a checkered history of wars, skirmishes and more recently just general micky taking, we have lots of respect for the big county next door. Although, we, Lancashire, had our own Tour – the Tour of Lancashire FIRST, way back in the 1990’s and we have an actual, real life, Grand Tour winner to be proud of (Simon Yates – Tour of Spain 2018), fairplay to Yorkshire – your race is pretty good…
On Thursday the 2nd of May, the fifth edition of the Tour De Yorkshire will kick off in Doncaster. Here is a quick preview of what to expect in the Men’s and Women’s event.
While Doncaster to Selby would seem a pretty flat ride, the route takes a detour east, to Beverley and a lumpy trip through the Yorkshire Wolds. Baggaby Hill holds the KOM points for the day.
Barnsley to Bedale on stage two, is a relatively flat trip up to the north of the county. The route includes a tricky climb at Lindley, near Otley, before continuing through Harrogate (Home of the 2019 Road World Championships) and up to the finish in Bedale.
Taking a challenging route between two classic seaside towns, the ride from Bridlington to Scarborough will be no walk in the park. Five tough northern climbs will could well create havoc, the usual strong sea breezes in the area will also likely have a big role to play.
The final stage should prove to be the toughest, with 5 climbs through this scenic jaunt through the Yorkshire Dales. West Yorkshire provides the start and finish towns in the form of Halifax and Leeds. The final run in to Leeds should be a fitting climax to 4 days of racing.
Watch out for the world cycling big hitters including Team Ineos (formerly Team Sky), Team Katushas Alpacin, CCC Team and Dimension Data. The World Tour top performers will likely make it tough for the UK based teams.
Both stage two, and four, have the potential to form the major splits of the race. As well as the many short, steep northern climbs, chuck in some random British weather into the mix, and we should be in for a viewing treat!
The Route Stage 1
The womens first stage is the same as the mens 2nd stage – A relatively flat ride north, featuring a the same climb at Lindley near Otley (Hometown of Lizzie Deignan).
The second stage is the same as stage 3 in the men’s event – from Bridlington to Scarborough. The tough climbs and usual strong sea breeze will most likely form the winning moves of the day, and the race overall.
The strong, international based teams to look out for include Trek Segafredo, Boels Dolmans, Sunweb, Movistar, WNT Rotor, Drops, Canyon Sram and Michelton Scott.
With the morphing of Team Sky to Team Ineos, expect a strong showing from Chris Froome’s team. Last year’s winner, Greg Van Avermaet (CCC), has been prominent through the early season classics and will also be in the running for the general classification. Local multi World Championships winner, Tom Pidcock (Team Wiggins), will also be keen to showcase his talents on his local roads. The women’s event is fairly wide open; Otley’s Lizzie Deignan (Trek Segafredo) is returning to racing after giving birth to her first child last year. Dutch rider, Annemiek Van Vleuten (Michelton Scott), should be up there following her fantastic results in the Classics.
Follow the race on ITV4 if you are in the UK.
Check out the full race details here.