Wiggins, Clancy, Swift confirmed for Tour de Yorkshire

Sir Bradley Wiggins' participation in the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire has been confirmed.
Sir Bradley Wiggins' participation in the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire has been confirmed.

THEY are names that will be on the lips of proud Tykes everywhere during next month’s inaugural Tour de Yorkshire cycle race.

The riders set to take part in the three-day sporting extravaganza were today announced by co-organiser Welcome To Yorkshire.

Yorkshire cycling fans will be pleased to hear that plenty of local heroes should be lining up alongside the likes of Sir Bradley Wiggins, Germany’s Marcel Kittel and Spain’s Samuel Sanchez.

The long list of competitors with links to the Broad Acres is headed by Rotherham road racing star Ben Swift and Barnsley’s double Olympic gold medallist Ed Clancy.

Rotherham’s Russ Downing, Skipton’s Pete Williams, Doncaster’s Tom Stewart and Leeds’s Liam Holohan are also preparing to fly the flag for Yorkshire.

Holmfirth’s Gabriel Cullaigh, meanwhile, is due to ride for a Great Britain team that counts Pool in Wharfedale’s Josh Edmondson among its reserves.

Welcome To Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity said: “We always wanted to get a mix of international and Yorkshire riders.

“Some of the Yorkshire riders will already be known to many people while there are others that they may not know but very soon will do.” Mr Verity said Ben Swift was “very pumped up” for the event – and predicted that residents the length and breadth of Yorkshire would be feeling the same way come the opening race day.”

He told The Yorkshire Post: “It’s been a gradual build-up but now you can see the bunting being put in place and the homes and businesses being decorated and so on. The county is planning where it is going to watch the Tour de Yorkshire and that’s great to know.”

Around one million spectators are expected to turn out for the event, which is being staged to try to build on the huge success of the county’s hosting of the opening sections of last year’s Tour de France.

Friday, May 1, will see riders racing from Bridlington to Scarborough via Whitby and Robin Hood’s Bay before they make their way from Selby to York the following day. Then, on May 3, the field will set out from Wakefield and speed through communities including Barnsley, Holmfirth, Ripponden, Hebden Bridge, Haworth, Ilkley and Otley bound for a finish line in Leeds’s Roundhay Park.

Welcome To Yorkshire’s experts say that, given the right weather and conditions, the event could be worth as much as £40m to the county’s economy, with TV coverage of the action being screened in more than 100 countries.