The hugely anticipated fourth edition of the Tour de Yorkshire international cycle race is now less than a week away.
Excitement is building in Leeds as the city prepares to host the grand finale on Sunday 6 May. The fourth edition of the men’s race has been expanded from three to four stages and will take place between 3-6 May 2018. The women’s race has also expanded for 2018 and will take place across two days on the 3rd and 4th May.
The race encompasses all four corners of the county and takes in 169 villages, towns and cities along the way, with Leeds hosting the grand finale on Sunday 6th May. The race will reach a rip-roaring conclusion on The Headrow – on exactly the same spot as where the Tour de France started in 2014.
The women’s stages will commence in the morning with the men’s stages following in the afternoon.
To mark the start of the race, a huge celebration is being held in Leeds city centre. The Eve of Tour show, which is a free event and open to the public, starts at 6pm on Wednesday 2nd May 2018 when stars of the cycling world will be on stage in Millennium Square alongside music from Yorkshire DJ Stephanie Hirst and performances from the Leeds band The Dunwells as well as the Yorkshire Rock Choir.
The event takes place as part of The Village – a 9-day cultural event that has been set up by Leeds City Council, Welcome to Yorkshire and LeedsBID for the very first time to celebrate both the Tour de Yorkshire and the Leeds International Festival. From Saturday 28 April to Sunday 6 May there will be an array of entertainment which will include amazing art and music, delicious Yorkshire food and drink, fun family activities and lots on offer to satisfy cycling fans.
Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council said:
“We are delighted to welcome the Tour de Yorkshire to Leeds again this year and we can’t wait to host the grand finale of the race. The atmosphere in Leeds in previous years has been electric and we are looking forward to seeing what this year brings, especially as we have both the Eve of Tour celebrations and The Village taking place in Millennium Square.
There is a huge passion for cycling across the city and the Tour gives us the opportunity to show that to the world. I’m confident the people of Leeds will once again turn out in their thousands and do the city proud at this brilliant event.”
Race timings have been released by organisers Welcome to Yorkshire and ASO and have been calculated by anticipating the peloton’s average speed but are subject to change depending on variables such as wind speed, direction and how aggressively the riders race.
Stage 2: Friday 4 May – Barnsley to Ilkley, 149km (92.6 miles) for the men and 124km (77.1 miles) for the women.
The men’s peloton will start outside Barnsley’s Town Hall at 14:20 and head towards Penistone (14:44). The first mountains classification points are up for grabs on Blacker Hill at 15:10. The race will pass through Wentworth before an intermediate sprint is contested in Swinton.
There’s a second intermediate sprint in Scholes at 16:55, and Harewood House (17:15) also makes an appearance prior to the classified Côte de Old Pool Bank climb at 17:33. The route will then pass through Otley and Ilkley (17:37 and 17:51 respectively) before reaching the race’s first-ever summit finish on the Cow and Calf at 17:57. 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.
Before all that, the women will commence in Barnsley at 09:00 will follow the exact same route as the men from Worsbrough at 09:10. The riders will tackle the Côte de Blacker Hill at 09:17 and the first intermediate sprint in Swinton at 09:38. The second sprint in Scholes comes at 11:19 before the Old Pool Bank climb at 12:04. Then it’s on to the Cow and Calf where the winner of the race should be crowned at approximately 12:32.
Stage 4: Sunday 6 May – Halifax to Leeds, 189.5km (117.7 miles)
The Piece Hall in Halifax is a great location for the start of this stage at 12:10 and the first of six categorised climbs comes on the Côte de Hebden Bridge at 12:45. The race will head up the cobbled Main Street in Haworth at 12:56 before dropping into Goose Eye for the next ascent at 13:07. Crossing from Brontë Country into Craven, the route heads through Skipton at 13:21 and the next climb is on Barden Moor at 13:35. 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 at 14:18, and the route continues on to Masham (15:10) and then into Nidderdale before making a return to the formidable Côte de Greenhow Hill at 15:52. Shortly after passing through Otley at 16:27 the next categorised climb is on the cards at Otley Chevin (16:33). The race will pass Kirkstall Abbey at 16:49 before the riders sweep into Leeds concluding on The Headrow at 17:11.
Leeds City Council is committed to ensuring the race is safely facilitated.
Road closures will be managed by the Police Central Escort group on a rolling road closure basis to ensure minimal disruption. To help safely facilitate the race for both riders and spectators at key sporting stages of the race however, some longer-term road closures are required. You can find full details of road closures by visiting www.leeds.gov.uk, scrolling down and clicking on the Tour de Yorkshire logo.
There will be some on-street parking suspensions across the city. Both advance warning and event road signage will be used to help inform residents and spectators of any restrictions.
There may also be some disruption to public transport services and details of bus service interruptions and temporary diversions will be available at www.wymetro.com or (0113) 2457676.
Access to the hospital will be maintained however it’s recommended that you plan any journeys well in advance to avoid when the race is passing through as there is expected to be the most traffic congestion during these times.
Routes for emergency vehicles will be kept open at all times and emergency services, health and social care, community meals and other agencies are working together to ensure that the impact on normal services is minimal. Should you have any concerns in this regard please contact your health or social care provider directly or contact the Adult Social Care team on 0113 2478413.
Spectators will be able to watch the race from the roadside anywhere along the route and local residents and businesses are encouraged to get involved.
See the route map, more information and the latest Tour de Yorkshire updates on the official website: www.letouryorkshire.com