I live near Halifax so I’m not complaining, but it’s curious that stage 4 of the 2019 Tour de Yorkshire will be almost identical to stage 4 in 2018. The only difference I can spot is that from Halifax the cyclists will head north out of Halifax in the direction of Haworth rather than along the Calder Valley to Hebden Bridge, over Oxenhope Moor and then to Haworth. Surely the Calder Valley / Oxenhope Moor route is more spectacular than the A629… Strange. (Route descriptions below from ASO/ Welcome To Yorkshire.)
STAGE ONE: 178.5km – THE HERITAGE STAGE – DONCASTER TO SELBY Thursday 2 May
The men’s race will start in Doncaster before heading towards Beverley. On the way the riders will pass Cowick Hall and Howden Minster, and the first intermediate sprint will be contested in Elloughton before the peloton sweeps into Beverley. Not long after they will reach the Yorkshire Wolds and tackle the first classified climb at Baggaby Hill before a brisk descent into Pocklington for a second intermediate sprint. The pace will continue to rise on the brisk approach to Selby where the action will reach a pulsating conclusion right outside Selby Abbey which is celebrating its 950th anniversary.
STAGE TWO: 132km – THE WORLD STAGE – BARNSLEY TO BEDALE Friday 3 May
The world’s top female riders join the action in Barnsley and start in the morning with the men following in the afternoon. Both exit Barnsley in a north-easterly direction and head towards Pontefract for the first intermediate sprint. The route then skirts Leeds and shortly after Leathley the peloton will commence the Côte de Lindley, the first of five new climbs on this year’s route. Then it’s on to Harrogate where the riders have the chance to tackle the exact same circuit being used at the 2019 UCI Road World Championships. An intermediate sprint has been added along Parliament Street where the Championships finish line will be, meaning the riders can hone their tactics in preparation for September. Once that loop has been concluded the stage continues north through Ripon and it’s full steam into Bedale for an expected bunch sprint in the centre of this vibrant Yorkshire Dales town.
STAGE THREE: 132km – THE YORKSHIRE COAST – BRIDLINGTON TO SCARBOROUGH Saturday 4 May
The riders will roll out of Bridlington and head into the North York Moors National Park. The Côte de Silpho is looming large shortly after Hackness and the opening intermediate sprint comes just after Harwood Dale. The route then continues north and commences an undulating 52km loop just after Fylingdales. Once the peloton has passed through Robin Hood’s Bay they immediately hit the Côte de Hooks House Farm. Then it’s on to Whitby, and before the riders enter town they will contest a second intermediate sprint in front of Whitby Abbey. The views will be spectacular on the approach to Sandsend and it is there that the Côte de Lythe Bank is waiting. Once the riders have crested that summit the route heads inland and the Côtes de Grosmont and Ugglebarnby are positioned just 7km apart. The loop concludes, the pace is sure to be high as the riders drop into Scarborough. The frontrunners will sweep along South Bay, around the castle walls and onto the now-legendary finish along North Bay. It is here that the winner of the Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race will be crowned before the male riders battle it out in front of another massive crowd.
STAGE FOUR: 175km – THE YORKSHIRE CLASSIC – HALIFAX TO LEEDS Sunday 5 May
The Piece Hall is a spectacular location for the start of this decisive stage before the riders head into Brontë Country. Haworth’s quaint cobbled Main Street features once again but the real climbing begins on the Côte de Goose Eye. Crossing into Craven, the next classified climb comes on the Côte de Barden Moor. Once that has been crested it’s into the Yorkshire Dales National Park where the riders will contest their first intermediate sprint in full view of Kilnsey Crag. The Côte de Park Rash is the next climb on the agenda and before a gradual descent into Middleham, and the peloton will continue on to Masham before entering Nidderdale. Pateley Bridge is sure to put on a colourful show ahead of the Côte de Greenhow Hill, and shortly after Otley the final categorised climb will be fought out on Otley Chevin. The race then sweeps into the outskirts of Leeds for one last intermediate sprint in Tinshill. The riders will get a great view of Kirkstall Abbey before the action reaches a rip-roaring conclusion along The Headrow in the heart of the city centre.