Following months of speculation, it has finally been confirmed that Yorkshire will host its own international cycling event in 2015. The county revelled earlier this year whilst being part of the famous Tour de France – and has since been in negotiations with the authorities in a bid to secure another event on the calendar.
In fact, there appeared to be a pledge from both sides to arrange another race in the county. Yorkshire was the starting point for the Tour de France this year, and the director of the race claimed that it was the “grandest" Grand Depart that had ever occurred in the 111-year history. Following such statements, and the manner in which the event was received by the people of Yorkshire, some would suggest that this September announcement has been waiting to happen for a long time.
The Major Details
For the time being the details are quite vague, although something that we do know is that the event will take place on May 1 to May 3 in 2015. It has been organised by Welcome to Yorkshire and Amaury Sport Organisation, with the latter coincidently the same authority that operates the Tour de France. Additionally, British Cycling has got in on the act and has already confirmed that it will be an event that is part of the official 2015 cycling calendar.
While it is being referred to as the Tour de Yorkshire for now, it is understood that this is a provisional title and is likely to be changed in the forthcoming months.
The specifics of the race might be a little hard to come by for now, but one issue that has been confirmed is that the format will be comprised of three stages over the three days. The authorities have indicated that it will be an event which attracts the sport’s leading performers, while it is highly likely that there will also be a woman’s race.
It won’t come as a surprise to hear that there has not been any announcement in relation to an exact route. Initially, it was thought that the race would incorporate large sections of the Le Tour Yorkshire from July. However, speculation is now suggesting that the authorities are going to attempt to target sections that were not covered, in a bid to open more of the county up to cycling.
Of course, it is still likely that some parts from the Le Tour route are going to be included. As a reminder, Stage 1 of the event covered Leeds to Harrogate and saw participants cycle through a whole host of towns and cities including Harewood, Otley, Skipton, Haws, Leyburn, Ripon and Harrogate. Stage 2, which was focussed on York to Sheffield, included the likes of Knaresborough, Keighley, Elland, Huddersfield and Holmfirth before the final destination. Considering the spectrum of places that were covered, you would have to assume that some of the above regions will receive a second visit from an international cycling event come May.
Further announcements are expected over the course of the next few months, where we’ll be told the route and more specific information regarding the race itself. In the meantime, join in the craze and take a look at our road bikes. When further announcements are made, perhaps you’ll be able to mimic the route cycled by the sport’s big names.