Leeds is celebrating after being chosen to host the finale of the first ever Tour de Yorkshire international cycle race.
A three day race, held on 1 – 3 May, it will build to a stunning crescendo in Roundhay Park, which is expected to be packed with passionate cycling fans and supporters.
The news comes after the city held what was described as “the grandest ever Grand Départ”, by Tour de France race director Christian Prudhomme.
Last summer saw 230,000 spectators, in the city centre alone with thousands more filling spectator hubs, crowd on to the streets to cheer on international cycling stars creating an electric atmosphere that will long be remembered.
Day three Sunday 3 May, of the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire, and the focal point of the event, kicks off in Wakefield and culminates at Roundhay Park in Leeds – where the winners will be crowned in front of huge crowds.
Day two begins in Selby and ends in York, while the first day takes in the Yorkshire coastline starting in Bridlington and finishing in Scarborough. Each day covers a distance of 180 kilometres.
A king of the mountain stage is planned within the Leeds boundary on day three where competitors will fight to be first to the top of East Chevin Road in Otley while a sprint is planned for the top of Black Hill Road, Arthington.
Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Keith Wakefield said:
“Leeds is of course delighted to welcome the tour. There is a huge passion for cycling here – evident for the whole world to see thanks to the incredible atmosphere at last year’s Grand Départ. I’m confident the people of Leeds will again turn out in their thousands and do the city proud at this great event that’s sure to become well respected by both the international cycling community and those closer to home.
“We know thousands of people have been inspired to take up cycling as a result of the Grand Départ. We hope the Tour de Yorkshire will motivate yet more people and see Leeds become an even stronger hotbed for cycling talent. Young people watching from the roadside could develop, with the use of outstanding local facilities, into future winners. We also shouldn’t underestimate what regular cycling is doing for the health of all people who enjoy the freedom of casual cycling.
“The Tour de France brought millions of pounds into the city. It was a massive boost for the economy benefiting both large and small businesses. We can’t have an event of that size every year, but local businesses and residents alike will benefit hugely from the Tour de Yorkshire and we don’t expect road closures to last much more than an hour except in a few key locations.”
More than three million people turned out to see the Tour de France in Yorkshire and the economic impact has been put at well over £100million. The new race is at the heart of Cycle Yorkshire, the legacy of the Tour de France.
A mass sportive – The Tour de Yorkshire Ride – with several distances where people can ride part of the same route as the professionals will be held on day three (Sunday 3 May) and thousands are expected to take part in what will be a historic first for the county.
The mass ride will be delivered by Human Race – owners of the Dragon Ride and many other sportives – in collaboration with the Tour de Yorkshire organisers. People can apply to enter the sportive on the Tour de Yorkshire website www.letouryorkshire.com.
Notes to editor
The Tour de Yorkshire route will progress through Leeds along the following route:
Bingley Road, Menston
Buckle Lane, Menston
West Chevin Road, Otley
Birdcage Walk, Otley
East Chevin Road, Otley
Bramhope Old Lane
A658 Pool Bank New Road
A659 Arthington Lane
Black Hill Road
Wike Ridge Lane
Rounday Park Lane
A6120 Ring Road (Shadwell)
A58 Wetherby Road
Below are some stats from the Tour de France Grand Départ:
• 23,500 knitted jerseys for bunting
• 4.8 million people lined the route
• 2,225 performances, workshops and exhibitions as part of Yorkshire Festival
• £128 million total boost to Yorkshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex and London because of the Tour de France. 102 million boost for Yorkshire.
• 100km of barriers and fencing (enough to barrier the M11from Cambridge to London)
• 13,000 stewards and traffic marshals
• 2 million spectators felt inspired to cycle more frequently
• 1 million have cycled more frequently since the race
For further information please contact the Leeds City Council Press Office on 0113 395 0244