Organisers of the men’s Tour de Yorkshire and the ASDA Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race have confirmed the routes for the sixth edition of the multi-day event.
The early consensus is that the races are arguably the toughest editions yet (for men and women), with parcours that seemingly suit the climbers much more than the sprinters.
My advice for 2020 @letouryorkshire teams …— Dean Downing® (@dean0downing) January 17, 2020
Sprinters stay at home, it’s a hilly one ☺️😬🗻🗻🗻🗻🗻
Savage 4 day route.. 💥💪🏻
The men’s race will take place between 30 April and 3 May and has been awarded ‘ProSeries’ status for the first time, as the UCI overhauls its rankings of international races. The ‘ProSeries’ sits just underneath the WorldTour and incorporates the former ‘HC’ category races. Find out more here.
For the sixth edition, riders will compete on stages that are made up of 43% never-ridden before roads – meaning reigning champion Chris Lawless will have a bit of recceing to do before the race.
The women’s race, meanwhile, takes place between the 1st and 2nd May. As with last year, the innovation here is that both stages will be raced on almost exactly the same routes as the men.
Let’s take a look at the stages in more detail…
Stage One: Beverley to Redcar
Starting in Beverley, the route heads east and hugs tight to the Yorkshire coast. Threading its way north, the stiff North Sea wind could make its presence felt as the peloton stays on the flat and heads through Bridlington, past Flamborough Head – the first of two sprints – and up the coast.
Nipping inland to avoid Scarborough, the race then cuts back out to the coast and into the bulk of the climbs on the first day. Passing through Whitby and another sprint, the sights will become familiar with riders who have taken part in the East Cleveland Klondike Grand Prix.
The route enters East Cleveland via the Côte de Lythe Bank – a feature of the 2019 route – and onto the Victorian market town of Saltburn, before a sprint finish on the billiard table-flat Redcar seafront where riders who can best combat the typical cross-wind will do well.
Stage Two (Women’s Stage One): Skipton to Leyburn
After a coastal start, the Tour heads to the peaks to incorporate one of the county’s most famous – or infamous – climbs as the Côte de Buttertubs returns for the first time since the 2014 Tour de France Grand Depart.
At 124.5km it’s the shortest of the stages on this year’s event, but it looks set to be a day of two halves. The first, with two early intermediate sprints in Settle and Horton-in-Ribblesdale, will be a cracker for the sprinters. But as soon as the race heads past the iconic Ribblehead Viaduct and into the Ribble Valley, the climbers will come into the fore as both Buttertubs and the Côte de Grinton Moor look set to test the strongest in the peloton.
The women’s race will tackle the exact same route on its first day of competition.
Stage Three (Women’s Stage Two): Barnsley to Huddersfield
A day that will favour the climbers as the route profile features little flat running throughout the 134km men’s route which takes in six categorised climbs – the toughest seemingly the Côte de Shibden Wall, a sharp cobbled 13.5% climb less than 20km from the finish.
There is also the equally gruelling Côte de Todmorden, a 2.5km climb at a 10.4% gradient just after the halfway mark.
The women’s second stage follows roughly the same route but cuts out the circuit that leads the men’s race onto the Todmorden climb meaning the route is cut down to 114.5km but still features a lung-busting five climbs.
Stage Four: Halifax to Leeds
The final stage is the now mainstay Halifax to Leeds test but the route contains a significant number of differences over its 177.5km compared to the 2019 finale.
Starting in Halifax’s Piece Hall, the stage starts in a similar fashion to 12 months ago with the inclusion of Côte de Goose Eye and Barden Moor. But after the latter climb, the route cuts further east than previously to take in Côte de Skyreholme on its way to Pateley Bridge.
Heading north to Masham the race then loops back down south and tackles the Côte de Cow and Calf – the site of the Tour de Yorkshire’s first summit finish in 2018. A sharp final climb at the Côte de Otley Chevin precedes the final descent and sprint finish into Leeds.
Featured photo: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com. 2018 Tour de Yorkshire – Stage 4: Halifax to Leeds – The riders begin Stage 4 from Piece Hall in Halifax.