Tour gets in gear

Opening of the Tour de Yorkshire Media Centre  at York Racecourse, pictured with the winners trophy are Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, Bernard Hinault ' 5 times winner of the Tour de France, and Christian Prudhomme: Director of Tour de France, ASO.  30 April 2015.  Picture Bruce Rollinson

Opening of the Tour de Yorkshire Media Centre at York Racecourse, pictured with the winners trophy are Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, Bernard Hinault ' 5 times winner of the Tour de France, and Christian Prudhomme: Director of Tour de France, ASO. 30 April 2015. Picture Bruce Rollinson

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The Tour de Yorkshire is finally here.

This afternoon Tour de Yorkshire’s Gary Verity, racing legend Bernard Hinault and race director Christian Prudhomme opened the press room at York Race Course.

Earlier in the day Mr Verity joined last year’s Grand Depart winner Marcel Kittel on ride around York.

The race will leave Bridlington just before noon before taking in Pickering, Danby, Sleights, Whitby, Robin Hood’s Bay and Scarborough.

Gary Verity told the press that: “Scarborough is the perfect place for the first day’s racing to finish in the Tour de Yorkshire.”

Stage Two will see the race start outside the imposing Selby Abbey. The route takes in much of the Yorkshire Wolds, and from Selby will take the peloton towards Market Weighton, through North Newbald and on to Beverley, where they will turn north to Malton, then on to Stamford Bridge. Spectators will have the chance to see a circuit of York and organisers are hoping for a dramatic finish in the town.

Stage Three will see the peloton make a return to some of the roads raced in the 2014 Yorkshire Grand Départ of the Tour de France, only with a twist; starting in Wakefield, riders will travel south to Barnsley before heading to Holmfirth where they pick up the Grand Départ route in reverse, racing to Ripponden before riding the iconic Cragg Vale.

The riders will then make their way to Hebden Bridge, Oxenhope and then what is expected to be a hugely popular finish line in Roundhay Park in Leeds.