Last year’s Tour de France barely scratched the surface when it came to exploring the landscape and roads of Yorkshire. This year’s race uses two entirely new routes — stage one will, we suspect, be a sensation — while tweaking the blueprints to the thrilling Sheffield stage of last year’s Tour, running a chunk in reverse before a finish over the Cow and Calf into Leeds.
Here’s our guide to the stages, our predictions, TV schedule and rider focus.
Stage 1 – Scarborough to Bridlington
Length: 174 km
Terrain: One for the punchy climbers
Suits: Tom Moses, Kristian House, Graham Briggs
A scenic approach throug the North York Moors ends at the coastal town of Scarborough. Between Bridlington and the finish organisers have crammed in a series of exceptionally steep climbs on narrow road. Look out for Robin Hood’s Bay it is a nasty ascent at 28km to go.
John Herety’s predictions : a sprint from a small group of twenty riders. There are plenty of sharp drops and climbs on the Moors and the coastal road is exposed. Any rider looking at the overall needs to stay alert on the stage.
TV coverage: Live on Eurosport 2 and ITV4 between 1430-1630.
Stage 2 – Selby to York
Length: 174 km
Terrain: One for the sprinter
Suits: Ed Clancy, Harry Tanfield, Graham Briggs
All eyes will be on Tour de France sprint ace, Marcel Kittel. There are a few climbs in the Yorkshire Wolds before the fast finish into the city centre of york.
The Tour de Yorkshire women’s race takes place on the same finishing circuit ahead of the men. We recommend grabbing a spot in York’s coffee establishments to see the racing or head to York Racecourse to catch the finish.
John Herety’s predictions: a bunch sprint in York city centre. Keep an eye out for Ed Clancy
TV coverage: Live on Eurosport 2 and ITV4 between 1400-1600
Stage 3 – Wakefield to Leeds
Suits: Kristian House, Richard Handley, Mike Cuming, Tom Moses
Using some of the 2014 Tour de France grand depart route, stage 3 is another hilly day. There are six sharp ascents with the race culminating on the Cow and Calf climb and Chevin Moor. Today favours the breakaway.
John Herety’s predictions: this is the queen stage. There are the big climbs but also a hidden rise up to the final intermediate sprint in Arthington. If someone can get away here then they might make the attack stick in the final 15km.
TV coverage: Live on Eurosport 2 between 1530-1700 and ITV4 from 1500-1700