The full routes for the 2019 Tour de Yorkshire and Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race have been unveiled at Leeds Civic Hall.
Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive Sir Gary Verity led a packed press conference on Friday morning with the Amaury Sport Organisation’s Tour de France Director Christian Prudhomme.
British champion Connor Swift, Commonwealth Games gold medallist Charlie Tanfield and Team Sky rider Chris Lawless were among the many professional riders in attendance along with a host of cycling legends such as Brian Robinson, Mandy Bishop and Denise Burton-Cole.
The fifth edition of the men’s race will take place between 2-5 May and has been upgraded to HC status by cycling’s world governing body the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) – the highest category possible for a multi-day race outside of the UCI WorldTour. It encompasses all four corners of the county and takes in 150 villages, towns and cities along the way.
The Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race meanwhile, will take place between 3-4 May meaning that for the first time ever, it will be held on a Friday and Saturday to allow more people to celebrate the race. Further new ground is also being broken by the fact both stages will be exactly the same as the men’s, meaning the 2019 edition will be the longest yet at 264km and also the hardest with over of 3,200m of cumulative climbing.
The final stage (stage 4) will finish in Leeds, The Piece Hall in Halifax provides a spectacular location for the start of this decisive stage and the first of six categorised climbs comes on the Côte de Hebden Bridge. The race will head up the cobbled Main Street in Haworth before dropping into Goose Eye for the next punishing ascent. Crossing from Brontë Country into Craven, the route heads through Skipton and the next climb is looming on Barden Moor. The action will then head into the Dales before the riders contest the first intermediate sprint in view of Kilnsey Crag. The Côte de Park Rash will no-doubt cement its place in Tour de Yorkshire folklore as the peloton grind their way up it, and the route continues on to Masham and then into Nidderdale before making a return to the formidable Côte de Greenhow Hill for the first time since 2016. The undulating terrain never relents and shortly after passing through Otley the next categorised climb is on the cards at Otley Chevin. If that wasn’t enough, the Côte de Black Hill Road must also be crested before the race sweeps into Leeds and reaches a rip-roaring conclusion on The Headrow – on exactly the same spot as where the Tour de France started in 2014.
Christian Prudhomme, ASO’s Tour de France Director, said: “Once again, the team at Welcome to Yorkshire have done a tremendous job in designing such a beautiful, challenging and varied route and I am looking forward to seeing how both races play out. Including the Harrogate circuit gives the race an added dimension next year and we want The Yorkshire Classic stage of the men’s race to become one of the most anticipated dates on the professional cycling calendar.”