A tarmac thriller is definitely on for this weekend during the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire – Sky are sporting a strong team, with Gold medallist Owain Doull and Luke Rowe (Froome’s 2015/16 tour win team-mate), both of whom no doubt passed our villa (where we host bespoke cycling holidays) many times during their early season training in Mallorca this year. With so many world class teams competing the unforgiving and scenic Yorkshire roads, British Road Race champion Adam Blythe (AquaBlue Sport) will be spinning pedals alongside one of our favourite riders – Tommy Voeckler. Will he grab victory again this year, we hope so, and our binoculars will be trained on his black and yellow strip of Direct Energie.
In the women’s race, Lizzie Deignan will race in her home county along with Olympic Road Race winner, Anna van der Breggen and World Champion Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle High5) will make for a fantastic weekend of nail-biting cycle racing!
So, we thought it would be a good idea to share with you our top tips for the best views of the action in our beautiful county…
- Always plan ahead - If you’ve not chosen already, now’s the time to decide where you want to watch, how you’re going to get there, and what you need to take with you. There are three stages to the race:
- STAGE 1: FRIDAY 28 APRIL 2017: BRIDLINGTON TO SCARBOROUGH
- STAGE 2: SATURDAY 29 APRIL 2017: TADCASTER TO HARROGATE
- STAGE 3: SUNDAY 30TH APRIL 2017: BRADFORD TO FOX VALLEY, SHEFFIELD
STAGE 1: FRIDAY 28 APRIL 2017: BRIDLINGTON TO SCARBOROUGH
- The opener – A spectacle of riders, spectators, and lots to see and do. In Bridlington grab yourself an ice cream and hop on the road train to Sewerby Hall. But when by the see, you can’t beat fish and chips. Head to Fish & Chips 149 as it was crowned winner of the 2011 at the National Fish and Chip Awards.
1. Set off early - the caravan parade tours the route two hours before the race passes through. The caravans are made up of the sponsors and throw out freebies to the crowds. It’s a great atmosphere to be in!
2. If you’re a foodie then Molton is the place to watch the race. Dubbed the Food Capital of the North, this Yorkshire Market town has a fantastic bakery and a coffee roaster called Roost which is open to the public.
3. Head to Goathland and visit the pretty railway station. A famous filming location for Heartbeat and Harry Potter, it’s great to arrive by train and explore the beautiful moorland. It’s the perfect place to do some of your own cycling so bring your bikes and head up early.
4. Venture down to Scarborough’s seafront to see the traditional amusement arcades, ice cream parlours, shellfish stalls and beach huts. We recommend you go for a stroll along North Bay with its colourful chalets. But don’t forget to watch the first stage finish completed by the thousands of riders.
Tadcaster – Harrogate
Stage 2 – best place to see all your favourite riders is when they grind up the hills – Cote de Lofthouse is the only categorised climb of this race which decide the King/Queen of the Mountain this year!
2 sprint finishes in Knaresborough and Ripon provide the breath-taking acceleration of the riders for points on offer, with the finale down Parliament street as in the famous Tour de France Stage 2014 finish.
STAGE 2: SATURDAY 29 APRIL 2017: TADCASTER TO HARROGATE
4. Follow the action by listening to a radio or a smartphone so you can head for a cheeky pint before the race whizzes by. The average speed of the peloton is 40km per hour – 25mph – and much faster on sprints and descents, so sharp corners and narrow roads where the riders will be on top of you before you’ve seen then aren’t the best bet.
5. Day two starts in Tadcaster. Tadcaster has had a hard time in recent month’s being hit hard by flooding. Now the locals are eager to show off their newly opened bridge.
5. Visit the lively market town of Knaresborough which has so much on offer. See its famous viaduct, spend the day on the river Nidd, or explore Mother Shipton’s cave. Make sure you take your bikes so you can cycle between Knareborough and Harrogate for the finish of day two.
6. Probably the best place to see all your favourite riders is when they grind up the hill is on Cote de Lofthouse. This is the only categorised climb of this race which decide the King/Queen of the Mountain this year! The hill is 1.7km long and has an incline of 11.4%.
7. Enjoy the race on the big screen at Harrogate’s Fan Park on the Stray - Relax in comfort in front of a big screen with toilets, refreshments, and entertainment on hand. Harrogate is the finish line for day two and riders will have to complete the same gruelling up-hill end as the Tour de France did in 2014.
STAGE 3: SUNDAY 30TH APRIL 2017: BRADFORD TO FOX VALLEY, SHEFFIELD
8. Stage Three is the longest and named the Yorkshire Terrier. The riders will compete over 194.5km from Bradford City Park to Fox Valley in Sheffield.
9. Watch from Bradford and take in the beautiful architecture or have a curry as it’s been named Curry Capital of Britain for five consecutive years.
10. Ride into the dales and stop off at Bolton Abbey to watch the race whizz by. Explore Bolton Abbey’s 30,000-acre estate and get a glimpse of the famous Bluebells or pop into the Devonshire Arms for a little luxury.
11. Pop in to Albion Cycling & Café in Holmfirth for a friendly cuppa. Another famous Yorkshire town, this time for TV series, Last of the Summer Wine.
12. Weather the weather - Come prepared for all that the British climate has to offer – wind, rain, and even sun! Bring layers and a waterproof, suncream and a hat, and plenty of water.
13. Watch the whole race on the big screens from the finish line at Fox Valley which is a new £50 million development eight miles from Sheffield city centre.
Where will you be watching the Tour de Yorkshire from this year? We’d love to hear from you and even see what you get up to. Tweet at @Bespokedcycle and use the #TDY hashtag.