The route for this year’s tour has just been revealed once again taking in stunning North Yorkshire scenery.
It will feature spectacular journeys through the county, along with two new start and finish points in North Yorkshire.
Today (Friday, January 17), Welcome to Yorkshire announced the routes for the sixth edition of the race, with the men’s racing taking place from April 30 to May 3 this year and the women’s race running on May 1 and 2.
Three of the four days of racing will take place in North Yorkshire, taking in large swathes of the Dales and Coast.
Day two of the event will see the men and women’s races passing through Reeth and other parts of Swaledale and Arkengarthdale, which were badly affected by flooding in July last year. Torrential rainfall submerged roads, destroyed homes and businesses and washed away two road bridges.
It had been due to form part of the route for the Senior Men’s Road Race in the UCI Road World Championships last September, but the race was diverted. Now, Whipperdale Bank will form part of the 2020 Tour de Yorkshire route.
One of the properties impacted by the summer floods was the Bridge Inn at Grinton, near Reeth. The heavy rainfall washed away its entranceway bridge over Grinton Beck, damaged walls and flooded part of the building.
Landlord Andrew Atkin said: “Obviously last year we had a terrible summer with the flooding, which caused devastation - not just to this pub, but the whole of the dale.
“We lost a lot of trade during what should have been the busiest part of the year for us. But I have friends who lost a lot more; a lot of people lost their homes. It really left a big mark on the place.
“But people are resilient and this year it would be nice to have an event which puts the focus back on the dales and lets people know this area is open for business.”
Stuart Price runs the Dales Bike Centre in Swaledale, which offers visiting cyclists bunk bed accommodation, bike repairs, a café and bike wash service.
Stuart said promoting Yorkshire as a cycling destination through events like the Tour de Yorkshire had had a huge effect on his business, which is about to undergo a £1.3m expansion. The business-owner said he was looking forward to seeing the race pass through some stunning sections of the Yorkshire Dales.
“It’s a great area for cycling and it’s great that this year’s event will take in this climb at Grinton Moor. This is a must-do route for a lot of cyclists,” he said.
Skipton and Leyburn are two of the eight host towns and will host the start and finish points on Friday, May 1. Although the race has passed through both towns previously, this is the first time either town has been chosen to host the race and formed the focal point for local celebrations.
Hannah Russell, author of the Little Alf books, who also runs Russell Home Interior and Gifts store in Leyburn with her mother, said: “I think it’s brilliant. The bikes bring tourists with them. Not just during the day, but I find a lot of people will follow the route and will not only be here for just one day, but will continue to stay for a week; two-weeks… it’s ongoing tourism.
“On the day the atmosphere is unbelievable; there’s a buzz through the whole town. People come in the shop saying how much they enjoyed it. You get a bit of an adrenaline rush yourself from it, as well as the tourists.”
County Council leader Cllr Carl Les said: “It’s not just the local economy which benefits; it’s also about community. Our communities up and down North Yorkshire have demonstrated they have a real appetite for staging celebrations when the races come through.”
Stage One of the Men’s Race will follow the Yorkshire Coast after setting off from Beverley, passing through Filey, Whitby and Staithes before finishing in Redcar; the most northerly point the race has reached.
The final day of the Men’s Race will see cyclists return to the Yorkshire Dales for part of the route, as they cycle from Halifax to Leeds, taking in Skipton, Pateley Bridge and Masham on the way.