Tour de Yorkshire extends to four days

TdY-2017-02

The Yorkshire region has received a huge boost with the news that the Tour de Yorkshire will grow from three to four days in 2018.

Organisers Welcome to Yorkshire and A.S.O. had been seeking to extend the race after its phenomenal success over the last three years, and cycling’s world governing body the UCI confirmed the decision on Thursday with the four-day Tour de Yorkshire being included on their 2018 Europe Tour calendar between Thursday 3rd and Sunday 6th May.

The news will bring far-reaching benefits to the county and further enhance the Yorkshire region’s reputation as a world-class cycling destination. The Tour de Yorkshire was launched in 2015 following the hugely successful Tour de France Grand Départ 12 months previously, and it has since grown to become one of the sport’s best-supported and most exciting races.

This year’s event was broadcast live in 180 countries and a record 2.2 million fans lined the route. The race also generated £64 million for the Yorkshire region economy and the Asda Women’s Tour de Yorkshire remains one of the most lucrative events in the sport.

Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive Sir Gary Verity said: “This is absolutely tremendous news and something we have long been working to achieve. We are grateful to British Cycling for supporting our application, and to the UCI for granting us this extension.

“Seeing the Tour de Yorkshire grow into what it is today is one of my team’s very proudest achievements and none of this would have been possible if the people of Yorkshire – and Great Britain – hadn’t taken the race to their hearts.

“This decision will help us attract even bigger names in the future and allow us to design a more varied and spectacular route.

“Our race is growing in stature all the time and the next two editions will hold even greater prestige given that Yorkshire is also hosting the UCI Road World Championships in 2019.

“Cycling is booming across the county and today marks an exciting new chapter for our race.”

Tour de France Director Christian Prudhomme said: “The Tour de Yorkshire is a true success story and the way the race has grown over the last four years has been incredible.

“The size and passion of the crowds has not just impressed me, but the cyclists too. They are always blown away by the reception they receive and are already looking forward to coming back in 2018.

“Extending the race to four days will allow us to visit more parts of the county and put on an even greater show.”

British Cycling Chief Executive Julie Harrington said: “We welcome the decision by the UCI to endorse the increase in duration of both the men’s and women’s races at the Tour de Yorkshire as a sign of the fantastic work done by Welcome to Yorkshire in collaboration with British Cycling in building an event which inspires people across Britain to get active by getting on their bikes.

“We look forward to working with the Tour de Yorkshire team to finalise arrangements.”

[News item based on press release provided by Welcome to Yorkshire, posted 21st September 2017.  Photograph copyright Bronte Country.]

Advertisements

Yorkshire recognised as UCI Bike Region

The Yorkshire region’s reputation as a world-class cycling destination has been further enhanced today by becoming the first place in the UK to be officially recognised as a UCI Bike Region.

Yorkshire received the award from cycling’s world governing body the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) at a glitzy ceremony in Bergen, Norway, where the UCI Road World Championships are currently taking place.

The county was one of five cities and regions to receive the accolade this year along with Fyn (Denmark), Gelderland (Holland), Heusden-Zolder (Belgium) and Woensdrecht (Holland).

Only eight places have been bestowed the honour so far since they were relaunched in 2015, with Bergen (Norway), Drenthe (Holland) and Limburg-Valkenburg (Holland) each receiving one in 2016.

The UCI grants UCI Bike City/Region status to locations that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to growing and promoting everyday cycling, as well as hosting major UCI cycling events.

Of course, Yorkshire fits that bill perfectly, with the county implementing multi-year cycling strategies across its 22 local authorities which target events, infrastructure, training, education and tourism.

Headline initiatives include the £35 million “cycle superhighway” which now links Leeds and Bradford, and the 46 Yorkshire Bank “bike libraries” that Welcome to Yorkshire has opened since 2014 where children can gain free access to bikes.

2019 will also see the UCI Road World Championships come to the county, with 12 races taking place over nine days and 1,000 of the best male and female riders from around 75 countries set to compete.

Tracey Crouch MP, Minister for Sport, said: “Yorkshire has deservedly won this recognition from the UCI. The honour is a testament to the hard work of all those involved in opening the region up to cyclists, and the lasting legacy from hosting the Tour de France Grand Départ in 2014 and the Tours de Yorkshire since.

“I know the people of Yorkshire will also get right behind the UCI World Road Championships in 2019 too that will further cement the county’s strong links to cycling.”

Brian Cookson, UCI President, said: “We are very pleased to expand our network of UCI Bike Cities and Regions and I would like to congratulate the five new recipients for the excellent work they carry out in their respective communities to develop cycling in all its forms. They are shining examples of what can be achieved.

“We look forward to promoting their ambitious projects and hope these will inspire other countries to develop bike-friendly environments for their communities and visitors.”

Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “We are thrilled that Yorkshire has been granted UCI Bike Region status and it is testament to the great work that has been done – and continues to be done – across the county.

“The UCI award these labels to cities and regions that promote cycling, and use it as a way to create better, safer and more active communities.

“In Yorkshire we are doing just that and it’s tremendous news that our combined efforts are being recognised in such high quarters.”

[News item based on press release provided by Welcome to Yorkshire, posted 20th September 2017.]

 

Details of Bradford cycling event announced

Details of a special cycling themed “day of action” to be held on Friday 22nd September 2017 have recently been announced.

The Bradford Capital of Cycling group are hosting the event, which will take place in the centre of Bradford and is planned to include bike stripping, a public “fix and learn” workshop, a barbecue and an evening talk from local cycling icon and round the world cyclist Imran Mughal.

For more information and/or to place a booking please visit the Bradford Capital of Cycling website at http://www.capitalofcycling.org/day-of-action-talk-film-and-bbq/

A news item about this event can also be found on the news section of the Bronte Country website at http://www.bronte-country.com/cycling-day-of-action-01.html

One million roadside fans watch epic 2017 Tour de Yorkshire finale

TdY-2017-02

A record one million fans turned out to watch the epic finale to the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire which saw Serge Pauwels claim the stage and overall victory.

Not since the 2014 Tour de France Grand Départ has Yorkshire experienced such a huge figure on a single day of racing, and that bumper crowd on Sunday helped ensure the third edition was officially the biggest one yet with overall attendances rising from 2 million to 2.2 million year on year.

Entire communities turned out on the roadside to witness the peloton pass though as they traversed the 194.5km route from Bradford to Fox Valley, Sheffield, and each of the day’s eight categorised climbs were also packed with masses of cheering, colourful and enthusiastic fans. The parcours was also lined with incredible, eye-catching land art as pictures of Yorkshire were beamed to a record 180 countries globally.

Spectators were treated to exciting action as well with Pauwels breaking clear on the tough concluding loop and he was joined by Dimension Data team-mate Omar Fraile before the race concluded in Stocksbridge, Sheffield.

The duo then pressed home their advantage with Pauwels leading Fraile over the finish line to seal the biggest victory of his career and a 1-2 for his team who also topped the Doncaster Sheffield Airport and FlyBe Team Classification. Jonathan Hivert (Direct Énergie) rounded out the podium six seconds later.

Those same three riders also claimed the top three positions on the General Classification with Pauwels taking the blue leader’s jersey sponsored by Welcome to Yorkshire. Australian Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) won the Yorkshire Bank Points Classification, Dutchman Pieter Weening (Roompot–Nederlandse Loterij) sealed the Virgin Trains King of the Mountain prize, and fans on Twitter voted Dexter Gardias (Bike Channel Canyon) the Most Aggressive Rider sponsored by Dimension Data.

[News item based on press release provided by Welcome to Yorkshire, posted 28th April 2017.  Photograph copyright Bronte Country.]

A dramatic start to the Tour de Yorkshire 2017

The third annual Tour de Yorkshire got off to a dramatic start on Friday 28th April 2017 with Dylan Groenewegen winning the opening stage for a second year in succession.

Unfortunately, however, a large crash near the finishing line in Scarborough took out many of the riders, with Magnus Cort Nielson (Orica-Scott) and Marco Haller (Katusha) coming off worst and being transferred to hospital with suspected broken collarbones.

Huge crowds turned out along the route, which started in Bridlington and wound its way inland through the Yorkshire Wolds and then up in to the North York Moors before a frantic finish along North Bay in Scarborough back on the Yorkshire Coast.

An eight-man breakaway formed after 15km and Etienne Van Empel (Roompot) was the first of those riders to top Garrowby Hill and Goathland to earn himself a spell in the best climber’s jersey.

The last escapees were finally caught with 8.3km to go, but before then the peloton had been split to shreds on the ride to Robin Hood’s Bay.  Groenewegen was one of several star sprinters to drop off the pace on that steep ascent but his LottoNL-Jumbo team-mates worked hard to bring him back into contention and the Dutch champion repaid that faith, just as he did in Settle in 2016.  The 23 year old powered to the line and held off a late challenge from Orica-Scott’s Caleb Ewan once again for his first win of the season.  The bonus seconds awarded for that victory meant Groenewegen opened up a four-second advantage over Ewan in the General Classification and ensured he will wear the blue leader’s jersey sponsored by Welcome to Yorkshire for the second stage.

For information about Stage Two of the race, please see the separate news item on the Yorkshire Dales website entitled “The Tour de Yorkshire comes back to the dales again“.

[News item based on press release provided by Welcome to Yorkshire, posted 28th April 2017.]

Host venues for TdY 2017 announced

city-park-07

The six host venues for the third “edition” of the Tour de Yorkshire have now been unveiled.

Racing for the third edition will begin or end in the cities and towns of Bradford (pictured above), Bridlington, Fox Valley (Sheffield), Harrogate, Scarborough and Tadcaster.

Organisers Welcome to Yorkshire and the Amaury Sport Organisation (A.S.O.) revealed the chosen towns which will see the three-day men’s race held from Friday 28 April to Sunday 30 April 2017. The women’s race will be held on Saturday 29 April 2017.

The second edition took place earlier this year and achieved significant growth on the back of an impressive debut in 2015. The number of roadside spectators increased from 1.5 to 2 million and the race attracted 11.4 million global TV viewers, up from 6 million in 2015. The event also boosted the local economy by £60 million and 2017 promises to continue that trend following the news that the Yorkshire region will host the UCI Road World Championships in 2019.

Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “In just two years the Tour de Yorkshire has become one of the biggest and best races on the professional cycling calendar. Riders are overwhelmed by the support they receive on the roadside and the racing is among the most exciting you will see all season.

“The third edition will continue that progression and the attention it receives will be greater than ever given that we have just succeeded in bringing the UCI Road World Championships to the county in 2019.

“The world’s best cyclists will be using the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire as a first dress rehearsal for that and we’re planning a course that will challenge and impress them in equal measure.

“I’m delighted the race will visit all four corners of the county and all six host towns will put on a brilliant show.”

Christian Prudhomme, Director of the Tour de France at the A.S.O, said: “The Tour de Yorkshire has done itself proud in building a lasting and hugely-successful legacy on the back of the 2014 Grand Départ. The race is a true success story and we are thrilled to be working in partnership with such a great team at Welcome to Yorkshire. We’re looking forward to another fantastic edition in 2017.”

The full 2017 race route will be unveiled in December 2016 – this announcement will include exact start and finish locations and the distance and profile of the race.

[News item based on press release supplied by Welcome to Yorkshire, posted October 2016.  Photograph copyright Bronte Country.]