After a hugely successful inaugural event, the Tour De Yorkshire returns today. Take a look below at the major names taking part, the teams involved, and what they can expect on the stages from Beverley to Scarborough.
Hopefully lined by fans here’s a guide to the 3 stages.
Stage 1 – Beverley to Settle – 186km
The first stage will set off from Saturday Market in Beverley. The riders will parade around the town - which also played host to the race in 2015, then through North Bar before heading north west to the Official Start at Beverley Racecourse; Holme-on-the-Wolds, Market Weighton (which also saw the race pass through in May 2015), and on westwards to a sprint point at Bubwith. From there, the peloton will race through North Duffield and west to Cawood - scene of Dick Turpin’s famous escape from York – and on to Tadcaster, famous for its breweries. After that, riders will visit Boston Spa, Wetherby, North Deighton and Knaresborough, home of the famous ‘spotty house’ from the Tour de France, decorated with the red spots of the King of the Mountains’ jersey. From there riders will travel to Ripley, home of the UK’s only Hotel de Ville rather than Town Hall, and on to Pateley Bridge where the first King of the Mountain will be won at Greenhow Hill. After that, it’s on to Grassington, then Threshfield and a return to some of the Tour de France roads, through Cracoe then Gargrave, the riders will then cross the finish line in Settle for the first time before a sprint at Giggleswick. They will complete a 12km loop back to the A65 and round to Settle town centre for an expected bunch finish in the town.
Stage 2 – Otley to Doncaster – 136km
The route begins in Otley, home town of current women's road World Champion Lizzie Armitstead. The Official Start is at Pool-in-Wharfedale, before the riders face an early King/Queen of the Mountain challenge at Harewood Bank, before heading south east towards another King/Queen of the Mountain at East Rigton, then to Thorner and a sprint at Scholes, then to Barwick-in-Elmet crossing the A1 at Aberford. Riders then go past Lotherton Hall, into Sherburn-in-Elmet, down to South Milford and Monk Fryston before swinging south to Birkin and Beal. The route then heads through Kellingley and on to Knottingley, Pontefract (home of liquorice) and Wentbridge, before North and South Elmsall, and on to hidden gem Hooton Pagnell. There is a sprint point at Warmsworth before a lap of, and King/Queen of the Mountain, at 11th century Conisbrough Castle. The peloton will then head towards Tickhill and Bawtry before racing along the perimeter of Doncaster Sheffield Airport, past Doncaster Racecourse and onto a sprint finish on South Parade.
Stage 3 – Middlesbrough to Scarborough – 198km
If Stages One and Two are for the sprinters, Stage Three will certainly appeal to the climbers. With an elevation of 2,593 metres and six King of the Mountain classifications, the route begins in Middlesbrough, birth place of Captain James Cook, and takes the riders on a challenging and technical route through much of the stunning North York Moors National Park. From the start line at Middlesbrough's MIMA Gallery, they travel south over the Official Start on the outskirts of Nunthorpe on the A172, through Great Ayton, home of the Captain Cook School Room, and on to Stokesley, Hutton Rudby, Winton and down to Northallerton, the county town of North Yorkshire. From there, the riders head to Thirsk’s market square where there will be a sprint point, before the infamous Sutton Bank and a King of the Mountain. Onwards to Helmsley, winner of Britain’s Best Market Town, then to Kirkbymoorside and heading north to Hutton-le-Hole and a King of the Mountain at Blakey Ridge. The peloton will recognise Castleton and many of the villages towards Whitby as the route is similar to that for the 2015 race. There will be a King of the Mountain at Grosmont, where in 2015 riders were welcomed by a steam salute by the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, and riders will pass through Sleights and Ruswarp before dipping down to Whitby. There is a sprint point at Whitby Abbey, before the race makes a visit to Hawsker. Next up is a battle over a King of the Mountain at Robin Hood’s Bay, before another King of the Mountain at Harwood Dale. From there it’s full speed to East Ayton and Irton, before a final King of the Mountain at Oliver’s Mount and a sprint finish in Scarborough’s North Bay.
With it’s reputation hugely increased from last year, and a big jump in prize money on offer (this is actually the biggest prize in womens cycling) the event is being taken very seriously, and has attracted a host of big teams and big names in the sport. None more so than Sir Bradley Wiggins who actually rode in 2015 too. Norway's Lars Petter Nordhaug won last year's race and is back to defend his title, with British road champion Pete Kennaugh also in the Team Sky squad.
World champion Lizzie Armitstead is in the women's one-day race, which starts in her home town Otley and follows the men's route, finishing in Doncaster, and British Olympic track champion Danielle King and Paralympic champion Dame Sarah Storey will also tackle the 135km course.
Here is a full list of the teams and lead riders:
* BMC Racing Team (United States) - Rohan Dennis (AUS), Ben Hermans (BEL)
* Team Sky (Great Britain) - Peter Kennaugh, Luke Rowe (GBR), Lars Petter Nordhaug (NOR)
* Team Katusha (Russia) - Jurjen Van den Broeck (BEL), Sven Byström (NOR), Nils Politt (GER)
* Orica GreenEDGE (Australia) - Adam Yates (GBR), Caleb Ewan, Mathew Hayman (AUS), Lucka Mezgec (SVN)
* Team Giant Alpecin (Germany) - Warren Barguil (FRA), Nikias Arndt (GER)
* Dimension Data (South Africa) - Steve Cummings (GBR), Bernie Eisel (AUT), Jacques Janse van Rensburg (RSA)
* Direct Energie (France) - Thomas Voeckler, Lilian Calmejane, Brian Nauleau (FRA)
* Topsport Vlaanderen Baloise (Belgium) - Gijs Van Hoecke (BEL)
* Team Lotto NL Jumbo (Netherlands) - Steven Kruijswijk (NL), Maarten Wynants (BEL)
* Team Cofidis Solutions Credits (France) - Nicolas Edet, Stephane Rosetto, Julien Simon (FRA)
* Team Roompot (Netherlands) - Pieter Weening (NL)
* ONEPro Cycling (Great Britian) - Matt Goss (AUS)
* NFTO (Great Britain) - Josh Edmondson, Ian Bibby (GBR)
* Team Wiggins (Great Britain) - Sir Bradley Wiggins, Owain Doull, Andy Tennant (GBR)
* Great Britain Cycling Team (Great Britain) - Gabriel Cullaigh (GBR)
* Madison Genesis (Great Britain) - Taylor Karl Gunman (NZL), Erick Rowsell (GBR)
* JLT Condor (Great Britain) - Russell Downing (GBR)
* Raleigh GAC (Great Britain) - Morgan Kneisky (FRA), Sebastian Mora, Albert Torres (SPA)
* Wiggle High5
* Lares Waowdeals
* Hitec Products
* Team Liv-Plantur
* Podium Ambition p/b Club La Santa
* Drops Cycling Team
* Great Britain National Team
* Boot Out Breast Cancer Cycling Team
* Team Breeze
* Team WNT
* Team Footon Velosport
* Fusion RT Fierlan
* Team Ford EcoBoost
* Les Filles Racing Team
* Team Jadan Weldtite
Lizzie Armitstead (GBR), Kirsten Wild (NED), Emma Pooley (GBR), Shelley Olds (USA), Danielle King (GBR), Jolien D’Hoore (BEL), Annalisa Cucinotta (ITA) and Marta Bastianelli (ITA)
Last year’s event attracted over 1.5 million spectators so this year it is hoping even more will attend.
And if you aren’t able to get down live to watch it the 3-day event will be shown on ITV 4 and EuroSport.
For any further information please head on over to letour.yorkshire.com