Tour de Yorkshire: six reasons why this year will be epic

One of Britain’s biggest multi-day races returns on the 3rd May. The event, which is a legacy of the 2014 Tour de France Grand Depart hosted by Yorkshire, takes place from 3-6 May and has been expanded to a four stage race.

This year’s race will be the best (and toughest) edition yet, here’s six reasons to watch:

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Cav & Greg

Despite having only a 2.1 UCI ranking the Tour de Yorkshire has consistantly attracted World Tour teams. This year, there are two riders who are bookies favourites for stage wins. Britain’s Mark Cavendish says he is capable of winning two stages in this week’s Tour de Yorkshire in his comeback from a broken rib.

Team BMC bring Greg van Avermaet to the lumpy dales and valleys of Yorkshire. The reigning Olympian will relish the punchy terrain of this stage, the Belgian has a good record in this part of the world having finished second on the stage to Sheffield at the 2014 Tour de France, and second again on a stage in his only previous appearance at the Tour de Yorkshire.

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Cow and Calf Summit Finish

Stage two ends atop of Cow and Calf climb in Ikley, West Yorkshire. JLT Condor’s Tom Moses currently holds the Strava KOM for the segment. Lasting 1.8km and with an average gradient of 8.2 per cent, including stretches that peak at a huge 18 per cent, it is more than difficult enough to cause race-defining gaps between the favourites.
completing the 1.9km climb in just over five minutes.

Expect to see big crowds on the climbs with the peloton expected here at 17.45pm (BST). If you can’t make it the race will be live on ITV4 in the UK and across the Eurosport Network.

The Yorkshire Terrier

Stage four starts in Halifax and finishes in nearby Leeds. To get there riders will need to ascend a total of six climbs, each short and steep. The GC battle starts on stage two but it will be stage four where the jersey will be won or lost. There is no let up and no where for riders to take a rest.

Expect great TV viewing as race contenders fire off attacks to put their rivals into difficulty over the 189km stage.

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LIVE LIVE LIVE

We’re spoiled for choice when it comes to watching the Tour de Yorkshire (May 3-6), with both ITV4 and Eurosport showing live coverage backed up with highlights for those that missed it. Every metre of road travelled by the peloton will be aired and you can stream it too.

Stream the races live via ITV4 (UK only):

Thursday, May 3
08.30-13.00, Women’s Stage one LIVE, ITV4
13.45-18.45, Men’s stage one LIVE, ITV4
20.00-21.00, Stage one highlights, ITV4

Friday, May 4
08.55-12.45, Women’s stage two LIVE, ITV4
14.15-18.30, Men’s stage two LIVE, ITV4
21.00-22.00, Stage two highlights, ITV4

Saturday, May 5
13.00-18.00, Stage three LIVE, ITV4
20.00-21.00, Stage three highlights, ITV4

Sunday, May 6
12.00-17.30, Stage four LIVE, ITV4
20.00-21.00, Stage four highlights, ITV4

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Two Races for the price of one

2018 sees an expanded race format for elite women. The first stage will, like previous editions of the race, be mostly flat, following the same route as stage one of the men’s race. the second stage (also like the men’s equivalent) will finish atop the Cow and Calf, providing the race with a spectacular uphill showdown.
World Champion, Chantal Blaak, will be taking to the startline along with a strong team from Team Sunweb led by Ellen Van Dijk. British interest lies in Canyon-SRAM’s Barnes sisters – Hannah and Alice.

Did we mention, its all live too!

Party on Park Rash

Grab your folding chairs, flags and vuvuzela’s. The icon Park Rash climb in North Yorkshire is a perfect spot to watch the race before heading across the Dales to see the finish, either in Leeds or the comfort of your living room. Grab your bike to head out to the 2.3km ascent, which features sections at a 25% gradient.

The predicted arrival of the peloton at the foot of Park Rash is 14.00 (BST).

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Image via NorthernBike.com

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