The full routes for the 2019 Tour de Yorkshire and Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race have been unveiled. Welcome to Yorkshire CEO Sir Gary Verity led a packed press conference last Friday morning with the Amaury Sport Organisation’s (ASO’s) Tour de France Director Christian Prudhomme.
The fifth edition of the men’s race will take place between 2-5 May 2019 and has been upgraded to HC status by cycling’s world governing body the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). This is the highest category possible for a multi-day race outside of the UCI WorldTour. The 2019 Tour de Yorkshire encompasses all four corners of the county in North East England and takes in 150 villages, towns and cities along the way.
- The Tour de Yorkshire was launched in 2015 as a legacy of the 2014 Grand Départ. It is organised by Welcome to Yorkshire and Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO).
- The men’s race holds a 2.HC UCI Europe Tour classification.
- The Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race was awarded 2.1 status in 2016.
- 2.6 million spectators lined the route for the 2018 edition, up from 2.2 million in 2017.
- The 2018 edition was watched by 12.5 million TV viewers in 190 countries.
- The 2018 edition generated £98 million for the Yorkshire economy.
- The race is supported by Yorkshire Bank, Yorkshire Bank Bike Libraries, Asda, Dimension Data, LNER, Tissot, Le Coq Sportif, Global, Sky Betting & Gaming, Soreen, Mug Shot, Gateley PLC, Named Sport, Mavic, Doncaster Sheffield Airport, Black Sheep and Eisberg Alcohol Free Wine.
British champion Connor Swift, Commonwealth Games gold medallist Charlie Tanfield and Team Sky rider Chris Lawless were among the many professional riders in attendance at the event announcement, along with a host of cycling legends such as Brian Robinson, Mandy Bishop and Denise Burton-Cole.
The 2019 Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race 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.
- Stage 1: 178.5km – The Heritage Stage – Doncaster to Selby – Thursday 2 May
- Stage 2: 132km – The World Stage – Barnsley to Bedale – Friday 3 May
- Stage 3: 132km – The Yorkshire Coast – Bridlington to Scarborough – Saturday 4 May
- Stage 4: 175km – The Yorkshire Classic – Halifax to Leeds – Sunday 5 May
Sir Gary Verity DL, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said “We’re blessed with such a diversity of landscapes here in Yorkshire to create such challenging and exciting routes and we wanted the parcours to reflect that, showcasing the county in all its glory. There’s something for everyone; the sprinters will get their chance to shine while the classics specialists and climbers will also have opportunities to make their mark.
“With the UCI Road World Championships also taking place in Yorkshire next year, we’re expecting our strongest-ever field. This will be the only chance the riders get to sample the Harrogate circuit under race conditions before it, and the only chance they get to ride up Parliament Street against the usual flow of traffic.”
He continued, “I’m also proud that we’re continuing to lead the way when it comes to promoting women’s cycling. Changing the start of the women’s race from Thursday to Friday should guarantee greater exposure and the routes for the two stages are now exactly the same as the men’s. That means there’s over 1,000m more cumulative climbing than last year and we’ll be in for some enthralling racing.”
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.”
Continuing the theme of major announcements, Help for Heroes was named as the Tour de Yorkshire’s Official Charity Partner for 2019. Help for Heroes provides recovery and support for all those and their families who have been affected by their time serving in the British Armed Forces.
The news signals the start of a range of fundraising initiatives throughout 2019, which aim to raise awareness of the great work the organisation does.
Gary Verity said “The work Help for Heroes do is truly admirable, and we are delighted to be partnering with them and raising money over the next 12 months for such a worthwhile cause. Their Help for Heroes Recovery Centre, North in Catterick helps thousands of Yorkshire-based troops and their families, and it’s fantastic for us to be able to give something back to those brave people who put their lives on the line for us.”
Mel Waters OBE, CEO of Help for Heroes, said “We are honoured to be selected as the Tour de Yorkshire’s Official Charity Partner for 2019. Sport plays a huge role in the recovery of our Veterans who have become wounded, injured or sick. We are excited to be partnering with such an iconic event because we know first-hand the benefit this can bring to so many lives.”
Official Tour de Yorkshire Sportive – Tour de Yorkshire Ride
It was revealed that the Tour de Yorkshire Ride sportive will be back for a fifth successive year in 2019.
Leeds was unveiled as the start and finish location for the event, which will be held on Sunday 5 May. 6,000 amateur cyclists will have the chance to ride some of the county’s most iconic roads just hours before the Tour de Yorkshire reaches its conclusion.
Gary Verity said “One of the founding aims of the Tour de Yorkshire was to inspire people to get on their bikes and the Tour de Yorkshire Ride provides the incentive to do just that. In 2019 there are three spectacular routes on offer meaning there’s something for everyone.
“The special thing about our sportive is that cyclists get to sample the same roads as the pros and end their ride on the exact same finish line, meaning they’ll receive a rapturous reception and then get to watch the action in person.”
Nick Rusling, CEO of the sportive organiser, Human Race, said “It’s been five amazing years now where we have been able to offer amateurs the unique chance to ride on the same roads and cross the same finish line as the pros on the last day of the Tour.
“On the Tour de Yorkshire Ride in 2019 we will have seen over 20,000 riders being part of this special occasion over the five years. This year will offer fantastic and challenging riding through the stunning Yorkshire Dales. The Leeds city centre finish is something to cherish forever – with huge crowds out cheering you on like you are a real pro. It is truly a unique experience.”