The Tour de Yorkshire makes a triumphant return to our cycling-crazy county at the end of April and we couldn't be more excited. With the last stage of the race set to come to Sheffield, the outdoor city is gearing up for a high-tempo weekend of world-class cycling not seen since the Grand Depart graced our streets back in summer 2014.
This is the first time the Tour de Yorkshire will visit Sheffield in what will be a real high point of the cycling year. The Tour de Yorkshire was set up following the success of the Grand Depart in 2014 as a means of retaining a cycling legacy for Yorkshire and ongoing connection with Le Tour de France.
It's Stage 3 of the race - the final stage, which they're calling The Yorkshire Terrier - which will sweep into Sheffield on the last day of the Tour weekend, Sunday 30th April. Riders will follow a 194.5km route from Bradford to Fox Valley in Sheffield, taking in the delights of Bolton Abbey, Saltaire, the Dales and Holmfirth before embarking on a gruelling final straight in and around Stocksbridge. This 22km finishing circuit includes than four categorised climbs at Deepcar, the fantastically-named Wigtwizzle, Ewden Height and Midhopestones before the race reaches its climax at Fox Valley. It's sure to rival the highs and lows of Cote de Bradfield and Cote de Jenkin Road in 2014.
The race timings have now been confirmed and the peloton will exit Bradford’s City Park at 12:10pm, taking a scenic trip to the Dales before heading back along the Aire Valley for the first of eight climbs on the Cote de Silsden at 14:04pm. The Cotes de Haworth and Leeming then follow in quick succession at 14:22pm and 14:32pm respectively before the race reaches the Cote de Shibden Wall. This cobbled beast will be crested at 14:54pm before an intermediate sprint takes place in Clifton at 15:09pm. There’s no respite as the race passes into South Yorkshire, and the final sprint points are up for grabs in Stocksbridge at 16:47pm before the weary riders tackle a gruelling 22km concluding loop featuring no less than four categorised climbs. The Cote de Deepcar is first up at 16:52pm and the Cotes de Wigtwizzle (16:58pm) and Ewden Height (17:01) come one after the other before one last drag up the Cote de Midhopestones at 17:07pm. Anyone left in contention after that will duke it out for the stage and overall victory in Fox Valley at 17:15pm. Full race timings are here.
If you think you're tough enough to ride the Tour de Yorkshire route yourself, why not register for the sportive on Sunday 30th April which is now open to riders. Based in Sheffield in the Fox Valley, the Maserati Tour de Yorkshire Ride features long, medium and short routes plus a women's cycletta, meaning there's a race for every level of serious road cyclist.
Whether you're planning on taking part or simply spectating, keep checking back here for updates on this year's race action. Expect great things, high drama and a warm Sheffield welcome as the outdoor city gears up for the return of the Tour.