Friday 28th April marks the start of the third annual Tour de Yorkshire, and here at Halfords we’re getting all geared up for it. For three days, hundreds of professional cyclists from all over the world will be riding through the rolling hills of Britain’s largest county.
What is the Tour de Yorkshire?
The Tour de Yorkshire is a competitive cycling event whose beginnings are rooted in the 2014 Tour de France. That year, the TDF began in Leeds and took on the nickname ‘Tour de Yorkshire’. It was so well received that it became an official event, with the first race being held in 2015.
This year’s race will take place from Friday 28th April until Sunday 30th April, starting off with the Grand Depart in Bridlington and coming to a nail-biting finish in Sheffield. There are three separate stages of the race, including sprint sections, detours through local towns and gruelling hill climbs, showcasing everything Yorkshire has to offer.
Stage 1, Friday 28th April
Bridlington to Scarborough, 173km
The race route is set to start in Bridlington, snake through the North York Moors and then back down the coast to the finishing line in Scarborough. The riders will pass through several picturesque towns such as Pickering, Driffield, Whitby, and Goathland, as well as bypassing the imposing cliffs of Robin Hood’s Bay.
The top viewing destinations outside of the major towns will be where the competitors must climb to the highest points during the race; Côtes de Garrowby Hill, Goathland, and Robin Hood’s Bay. The sprints will be at Pocklington and Whitby with a fantastic view of the Abbey.
Finally, be sure to catch the final dash along the North Yorkshire coast to the finish line in Scarborough.
Making a day of it
If you’re headed up to the coast, why not make a day of it by visiting the historical site at Whitby Abbey? There’s plenty for the family to do with several camping sites nearby if you fancy taking a weekend break. Head into Scarborough for fish and chips and a walk along one of the finest beaches in the UK.
Stage 2, Saturday 2nd May
Tadcaster to Harrogate, 122.5km
The second day kicks off on Tadcaster Bridge with the women’s race, with the men tackling the route later on in the day.
The first sprint takes place in Knaresborough, and the lone climb of the day is on the tough category 3 Côte de Lofthouse, which is also a great place for spectators. The second sprint comes at Ripon, and then the race continues on to Parliament Street in Harrogate, repeating the opening stage of the TDF three years ago.
Making a day of it
Stage 2 takes in many of the old market towns that dominate the landscape, so you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to places to visit. You can find peaceful riverside walks in Wetherby, a castle in Ripley, a tranquil town in the form of Pateley Bridge (which also happens to be an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), and the ancient and picturesque market town of Knaresborough.
Stage 3, Sunday 3rd May
Bradford to Fox Valley, Sheffield, 194.5km
The last leg of the Tour de Yorkshire is its hardest to date boasting eight climbs, including a short but punishing climb at Shibden Wall, which has an average gradient of 15.2%.
Starting at Bradford City Park, the riders will move onto Burley-in-Wharfedale and into the Yorkshire Dales. The last 22km features the final four climbs and comes to a close at Fox Valley.
Making a day of it
Ilkey is the perfect base if you’re thinking of taking in the Yorkshire Dales. Tearooms, shops, beautiful countryside and even rock climbing means it has something for everyone.
Other sights along the route include Bolton Abbey, the Yorkshire home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire; the National Children’s Museum in the Georgian town of Halifax; Haworth, home of the Brontë sisters; and the picture perfect town and home of Last of the Summer Wine, Holmfirth.
Getting into the saddle
If all this cycling’s inspired you to jump into the saddle, make sure to look at our selection of cycling guides to set off on the right track. Of course, we can also provide you with all the kit you need to get on the road (or trail) too!