Tour de Yorkshire hailed a great success


After three days of racing the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire has been hailed a tremendous success.

The event, which took place over the Bank Holiday Weekend on 1st – 3rd May 2015, was arranged as a “follow up” to the Grand Depart of the Tour de France (which of course was held in Yorkshire the previous year) is expected to run on an annual basis, with this year’s racing taking in the North York Moors, the Yorkshire Coast the Vale of York, the rolling hills of the Yorkshire Wolds as well as the challenging ascents of West Yorkshire’s Bronte Country.

Starting out on Friday 1st May 2015 Stage One peloton set off from Bridlington and passed through Dalby Forest (itself already famous for its mountain biking events), PickeringRosedaleWhitby and Robin Hood’s Bay before ending the day in Scarborough. The stage was won by Team Sky’s Lars Petter Nordhaug of Norway with some riders including Yorkshire born Ben Swift and Eddie Dunbar (the youngest racer in the event) having crashed out of the race on an unexpectedly slippy descent in to Grosmont.

Saturday 2nd May 2015 saw Stage Two of the event, with the riders setting off from Selby and cycling east in to the Yorkshire Woldsand then looping back westwards for an exciting finish in York, where a separate women’s race was held earlier in the morning.  Ikon-Mazda’s Louise Mahé won the women’s event, while Team Lotto’s Moreno Hofland from the Netherlands won Stage Two for the men.

The third stage of the event on Sunday 3rd May 2015 began in Bronte Country and saw world class road cycling competition returning to some of the terrain covered by the Grand Depart in 2014, though this time tackled in the opposite direction. As such Cragg Vale above Calderdale became the event’s (and the country’s) longest continuous descent (in the Grand Depart it was a gruelling ascent) in to Hebden Bridge and on to Haworth‘s famous main street, and a new section through Oakworth and Goose Eye on to SilsdenAddingham (where it is rumoured that the event was watched by the British Prime Minister, David Cameron), IlkleyOtley and a grand finish at Roundhay Park in Leeds.

BMC Racing’s Ben Hermans of Belgium won Stage Three, but the overall winner of the whole event (besides the people of Yorkshire of course !) was Team Sky’s Lars Petter Nordhaug, with BMC Racing’s Samuel Sanchez of Spain and Europcar’s Thomas Voeckler of France coming in second and third place respectively.

An estimated 1.5 million spectators turned out at the roadside to watch the racing at over the three days in scenes reminiscent of the Grand Depart of the Tour de France the previous year. It would seem that the historic county of Yorkshire‘s reputation as a welcoming and challenging destination for cycling events at the international level has been secured for years to come !

Tour de Yorkshire lineup announced

Teams for the forthcoming 2015 “Tour de Yorkshire” cycling race have now been announced, and it is understood that Sir Bradley Wiggins will be taking part (having missed out on the Grand Depart of the Tour de France which took place the previous year.  Sir Bradley’s own “Team Wiggins” will be competing against the likes of Team Sky, Team Giant Alpecin and Team One Pro Cycling (headed by the former England cricket star Matt Prior).

Stage One of the event is scheduled to take place on Friday 1st May 2015, starting out from Bridlington on a route which leads through the North York Moors and back along the Yorkshire Coast down to Scarborough.

Stage Two is scheduled to start in Selby on Saturday 2nd May 2015 with a route which takes the cyclists in to the Yorkshire Wolds and then back in to the Vale of York to finish in the City of York itself.

Stage Three is scheduled for Sunday 3rd May 2015 with most of the action taking place in the Bronte Country area of the West Yorkshire Pennines.  A considerable part of the stage retraces the second day of the 2014 Grand Depart (albeit in reverse) with Huddersfield, Haworth, Keighley and Skipton being taken in on a route which starts in Wakefield and ends in Leeds (which was of course the starting point of the 2014 Grand Depart.

For more information, please visit the official Tour de Yorkshire website.

[N.B. Please mention the Eagle Intermedia Cycle Yorkshire website when making your enquiries.]

Details of new Yorkshire cycling race announced

Hot on the heels of the successful staging of the Grand Depart of the Tour de France a new cycle race provisionally titled the “Tour de Yorkshire” has been confirmed for 2015.

The event, which has been backed by British Cycling has been officially added to the world cycling calendar for 2015, and it is anticipated that the route will take in parts of Yorkshire, (including parts of the North York Moors and the Yorkshire Coast) which the Grand Depart of the Tour de France didn’t visit.

The format will see three full stages take place over the three days, and there is also an intention to have a women’s race and a mass participation sportive as part of the event.

More race information is set to be announced in late 2014, with full routes expected to be unveiled in early 2015.

Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, which led the bid to bring the Tour de France to the county, said: “This new official international cycle race heralds the start of a world-class event for Yorkshire that we want to see grow over the coming years to become known the world over. We already have a huge amount of interest thanks to the Yorkshire Grand Départ, which captured the imagination of millions of people globally – and this race will be a fitting legacy. We’re confident that come May, we’ll deliver something very special.”

Christian Prudhomme, Director of the Tour de France, said: “We knew Yorkshire was gorgeous and there was a real passion for the Tour, but now we know after the unforgettable Grand Départ that people love the sport of cycling. It is now time to work together to bring a new race that will see some amazing riders and passionate crowds once again line the streets.”

Bob Howden, President of British Cycling, said: “To secure the approval of the UCI is terrific news and building on the huge success of the Grand Départ here in Yorkshire, we can drive up participation and work towards more people cycling more often. A new world-class race helps underline a commitment to cycling in all its forms.”

[News item based on press release supplied by Welcome to Yorkshire, posted September 2014.]


Grandest Grand Depart of the Tour de France takes place in Yorkshire !

Tour de France cyclists in Haworth

Tour de France cyclists in Haworth

Over the weekend of 5th and 6th July 2014 the county of Yorkshire hosted the Grand Depart of the 101st Tour de France.

The event was an overwhelming success, with cyclists and spectators from all over the globe turning up to watch what has been hailed the grandest Grand Depart in the world’s biggest cycle race’s history !

Preceded by a “caravane” of sponsor vehicles and media, the peloton raced through the Yorkshire Dales and Bronte Country while watched on TV by the eyes of the world.

Literally millions of people turned up to view the event at the roadside, which establishes beyond any doubt Yorkshire‘s status as a great cycling tourist destination !

Tour de France 2014 Grand Depart to start in Yorkshire

In December 2012 it was announced that the historic county of Yorkshire would host the “Grand Depart” of the Tour de France cycle race in 2014.

Starting out from  Leeds the first stage of the route chosen for this prestigious event takes in the Yorkshire Dales, running through Ilkley and Skipton then up  Wharfedale, over Kidstones Pass and on to Wensleydale then up and over Buttertubs Pass and through Swaledale to Richmond and down along the eastern edge of the Yorkshire Dales through Masham and Ripon to end the day in Harrogate.

The second day of the event sees the cyclists setting off from the historic City of York and then passing through  Harrogate and on to Addingham. From here the route enters the Bronte Country of the West Yorkshire Pennines, taking in Keighley, Haworth (famous for its associations with the Brontes), Oxenhope and Hebden Bridge and then on to Holmfirth (setting of TV’s “Last of the Summer Wine”) before undertaking a very steep climb up to Holme Moss and then descending in to Longdendale in the  Peak District. From here the route turns east and runs on to Sheffield at the end of another extremely challenging day.

For the third day the depart stage of the event moves down south to Cambridge and on to London before hopping over the channel for the rest of the race in  France.

For information about the Grand Depart’s journey through the Yorkshire Dales region (Day One of the Grand Depart) the following (externally maintained) websites may be useful:

For information about the Grand Depart’s journey through the Bronte Country region (Day Two of the Grand Depart) the following (externally maintained) websites may be useful:

Haworth Hub

Worth the Tour

More information about cycling and mountain biking in Yorkshire can also be found on the following (external) websites:

Dales MTB Guides

Way of the Roses – coast to coast cycle route taking in the Forest of Bowland, Yorkshire Dales, Vale of Mowbray and the North York Moors