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IN 2014, THE UK county of Yorkshire had the privilege to show itself off to the world by hosting the opening stages of the Tour de France. An estimated 4.5 million people lined the roadside and around the world TV screens filled living rooms with colour and racing that reflects a part of England steeped in cycling history. After all, these are the roads on which Tom Simpson and, in more recent times, Lizzie Armistead honed their craft.
Following on from this success, the Tour de Yorkshire was born; a three-stage UCI road race taking place from 29 April to 1 May, 2016. For cycling fans it’s a time of year that fills the void between the great European racing classics, such as Paris Roubaix and Flanders, and the wait for the major tours to start in the summer.
According to Sir Gary Verity, the chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, the Tour de Yorkshire has all the ingredients to make it the best three-day race in the world. “Each stage is like a classic in itself, offering cycling fans epic racing from the rolling Yorkshire dales to the cobbled streets of Doncaster,” he boasted while attending our very own Tour Down Under. “At this years race, starting on the 29th of April, there will be no shortage of cycling talent on display; Bradley Wiggins and his team are already signed up to make an appearance.”
The Tour do Yorkshire will be a must for any
The Tour de Yorkshire promises to become an all-time classic road race.
cycling fan, insists Sir Gary. “You can base yourself in one spot, which can be inland or on the coast, and with the size of the county being relatively small, it’ll be easy to travel to see professional racing on each of the three days,” he says.
So what better way get out into the countryside on your bike and see a world-class sporting event? I hear they have good pubs that welcome cyclists too.
Ian Boswell of Team Sky fronts the peloton up the cobblestones at Haworth during last year’s stage 3.
Sir Gary, enjoying dryer roads and taking on the Tour Down Under Bupa Challenge in January.