The Tour de Yorkshire will return to the region for its fourth edition in May of this year. The men’s race will take place from May 3-6 and the women’s race will take place from May 3-4, with Yorkshire providing the scenic backdrop to this popular cycling competition.
The men’s race will incorporate four different stages over the four days, beginning in Beverley and finishing in Leeds, whilst the women’s race will have two stages over the two days, starting in Beverley and ending in Ilkley.
Market towns, cities and rural villages will see competitors cycle past, but where will be the best places to watch the race and catch a glimpse of those taking part?
The historic market town of Beverly will be the first starting place of both the men and women’s race.
The men’s race will begin in Beverley before continuing on to the seaside resort of Hornsea, before those competing will tackle a 16km loop before then heading back through Beverley and into the Yorkshire Wolds.
The women’s race will also begin in Beverley, before passing the small market town of Pocklington and the large village of Holme-on-Spalding-Moor, both of which would be great places to see the race without being in the hustle and bustle of the start of the race.
If you’re wanting to be in the heart of the action then Beverley will allow you to be right in the centre of the excitement, seeing the competitors first set off on their journey. However, be prepared that other people will have the same idea and will also flock to see the start of this competition, making the small market town a busy, yet exciting, place to be.
The first stage of the men’s race will finish in the South Yorkshire town of Doncaster, as will the first stage of the women’s race. The cyclists will ride along the newly opened Great Yorkshire Way, whizz past the world-famous Racecourse and finish on the flat terrain of South Parade.
Anywhere along this route would be a good place to watch the race, but again, if you’re wanting to be in the heart of the action and witness the first person across the finish line, then the centre of Doncaster is the place to go.
The second stage of both the men and women’s race will begin in the South Yorkshire town of Barnsley. The race will start outside Barnsley’s impressive Town Hall before heading towards Penistone.
This route will go from South Yorkshire to West Yorkshire, ending in Ilkley, and passing multiple towns along the way, including Castleford, Pontefract, Kippax and Garforth. If you don’t fancy being right in the middle of the action, but want to witness this popular race, then there are plenty of smaller towns and villages you can go to see the race.
As the final town of the second stage of both the men and women’s race will be the spa town and civil parish of Ilkley, West Yorkshire, this is a great place to go to see the competitors cycle into town.
However, the race won’t finish in the centre of town, as the race’s first-ever summit finish will be on the Cow and Calf. King of the Mountains points will also be on offer right before the stage winner is crowned on top of this Yorkshire climb.
If you feel like a hike on a Friday morning then you can climb to the top of this iconic hill to see the race come to an end for the women, and the second stage be completed for the men.
The men’s race will then continue on May 5-6, with the third stage beginning on the cobbled streets of Richmond’s market place, before heading to Catterick Garrison, which is when the start flag will be lowered. Those competing will then continue on to Wensleydale, heading in an easterly direction on to Morton on Swale, this being where the first intermediate sprint will take place. Riders will then cross into the North York Moors, where they will then face the gruelling Sutton Bank climb.
This route will continue along North Yorkshire, passing the small market town of Kirkbymoorside and the ancient market town of Pickering.
The seaside resort of Yorkshire will then be the final destination of the third stage of the men’s race, where you can witness those competing cross the finish line and even grab yourself some of Scarborough’s renowned fish and chips if the excitement of the race is making you hungry.
The West Yorkshire minster town of Halifax will be the final starting place of the men’s race, as the Piece Hall in Halifax will provide a spectacular location for the start of this fourth and final stage and the first of six categorised climbs comes on the Côte de Hebden Bridge.
The race will then head up the cobbled Main Street in Haworth before popping into Goose Eye for the next punishing ascent, so if you fancy watching the race in the scenic Brontë Country, there are plenty of places along this route to be a spectator.
The iconic city of Leeds will be where the grand finale of the Tour de Yorkshire takes place, with the riders sweeping through the city and the competition reaching an exciting conclusion on The Headrow, this being the exact same spot where the Tour de France started in 2014.
The city of Leeds will be crowded with spectators hungry to see the first cyclist pass the finish line and where just one of the many competitors will be crowned as the winner of the Tour de Yorkshire 2018.