Sheffield will host what promises to be a thrilling and action-packed finale to the 2017 Tour of Yorkshire. The three-day race will conclude on Sunday 30 April with a 194.5km stage from Bradford to Fox Valley near Sheffield.
Riders will have to negotiate what has been described as the toughest stage in the race’s history before the finish in Fox Valley, including over 3,000m of climbing and eight categorised climbs, four of which are in the final 20km.
The third edition of the race will take teams to all four corners of the county. Stage one begins on the east coast of the county in Bridlington, before heading inland for the first intermediate sprint of the race in Pocklington. Climbs up the Côte de Garrowby Hill and Goathland are followed by the second sprint of the day in Whitby. The route then continues to Robin Hood’s Bay for the third and final climb, before the stage finish in Scarborough.
The second stage from Tadcaster to Harrogate, which shares the same route as the Asda Tour de Yorkshire women’s race run earlier on the Saturday, sees the riders face an intermediate sprint in Knaresborough, before they tackle the day’s only categorised climb, the fearsome Côte de Lofthouse. The riders will then head to Ripon to contest the second sprint of the day, before an undulating approach to Harrogate. The stage will finish along Parliament Street, just as it did in the opening stage of the 2014 Tour de France.
The final stage, nicknamed the “Yorkshire Terrier” by the race organisers, will start in Bradford and the first of eight categorised climbs comes when the race reaches Silsden. Climbs of Haworth, Leeming and Shibden Wall follow, before intermediate sprints in Clifton and Stocksbridge.
Once the final intermediate sprint has been contested the riders will then embark on a tough – and likely race defining – 22km finishing circuit that features no-less than four categorised climbs. The Côte de Deepcar, Wigtwizzle, Ewden Height and Midhopestones all come in the final 15km of the race, before the finish at Fox Valley.
Speaking to Forge Sport, Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Sir Gary Verity said: “It is certainly the most brutal stage three we have done, but I like stage two with the climb in it. I am sure this will be the best edition yet.”
Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour de France, told Forge Sport: “The Tour de Yorkshire is about pure passion, huge crowds, stunning scenery and steep climbs and this edition will feature stepper climbs than in previous years. 2017 should be an exciting, unpredictable race.”
Commenting on the route, JLT Condor cyclist Tom Moses told Forge Sport: “I think there will be a lot of people happy to see the finishing line on stage three,” while Drops Cycling Team cyclist Annie Simpson said the profile for stage two “is quite misleading”.
“There is one big climb that everyone will focus on, but actually I drove around it a few months ago, and the run into Harrogate is actually a lot tougher than it looks so it will be exciting racing,” Simpson added.
For more on the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire route, including extended interviews, listen to Forge Sport’s cycling podcast, ‘The Cycling Ramble’ here: https://www.mixcloud.com/cyclingramble/.