Yorkshire to host international cycle race following Grand Depart success

Tour de France. Commercial Street, Hebden Bridge.
Tour de France. Commercial Street, Hebden Bridge.

A major new international cycle race for Yorkshire has been confirmed by the sport’s world governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI).

The provisionally titled Tour de Yorkshire – run by Welcome to Yorkshire and the Amaury Sport Organisation (which operates the Tour de France) and backed by British Cycling - has been officially added to the world cycling calendar for 2015.

From May 1 to May 3 there will be a new 2.1 Europe Tour world-class cycle race take place across Yorkshire – with plans to potentially include parts of the county that the momentous Yorkshire Grand Depart didn’t visit.

The format will see three full stages take place over the three days, and there is also an intention to have a women’s race and a mass participation sportive as part of the event.

More race information is set to be announced in late 2014, with full routes expected to be unveiled in early 2015.

Talks are under way to secure worldwide coverage of the race, showcasing once again the beauty of Yorkshire’s landscapes to an international audience, growing the profile of Yorkshire as a destination for fans of world-class cycling and growing enthusiasm and participation in the sport of cycling in the UK.

Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, which led the bid to bring the Tour de France to the county, said: “This new official international cycle race heralds the start of a world-class event for Yorkshire that we want to see grow over the coming years to become known the world over. We already have a huge amount of interest thanks to the Yorkshire Grand Départ, which captured the imagination of millions of people globally – and this race will be a fitting legacy. We’re confident that come May, we’ll deliver something very special.”

Christian Prudhomme, Director of the Tour de France, said: “We knew Yorkshire was gorgeous and there was a real passion for the Tour, but now we know after the unforgettable Grand Départ that people love the sport of cycling. It is now time to work together to bring a new race that will see some amazing riders and passionate crowds once again line the streets.”

Bob Howden, President of British Cycling, said: “To secure the approval of the UCI is terrific news and building on the huge success of the Grand Départ here in Yorkshire, we can drive up participation and work towards more people cycling more often. A new world-class race helps underline a commitment to cycling in all its forms.”