Tour de Yorkshire 2016 due to start in Beverley – BBC News

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Image caption Last year’s Tour de Yorkshire took in spectacular climbings including the famous Cow and Calf hill above Ilkley

Thousands of spectators are expected to turn out for the 2016 Tour de Yorkshire race which get under way afterwards. Split into three stages, the cycle race covers 515 km( 320 miles) across the Yorkshire landscape.

The men’s race starts in Beverley, East Yorkshire, afterwards and will end on Sunday in Scarborough, North Yorkshire.

Last year’s inaugural race was watched by an estimated 1m people and brought 50 m into the region’s economy, tourism body Welcome to Yorkshire said.

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The women’s race is due to start on Saturday – a 136 km route between Otley, West Yorkshire, and Doncaster, South Yorkshire.

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Image caption Fans in Scarborough cheer on the peloton during the Tour de Yorkshire 2015

With the multi-coloured peleton, the event promises to be a colorful weekend with communities greeting the race around the road, Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said.

He added: “In simply our second edition we have attracted some unbelievable riders with great depth and experience. I’m delighted with how many riders are making a return to Yorkshire from the 2014 Tour de France and 2015 Tour de Yorkshire.”

Media captionThe 515.5 km( 320 mile) route is split into three stages

As well as the professional race, there is a mass-participation “sportive” for cyclists along the same roads as the Tour de Yorkshire.

The idea for the event was launched after Yorkshire hosted the Tour de France Grand Depart in 2014.

This year’s course will feature bunting, bikes and bizarre greets for the race participants.

On the slopes of Sutton Bank, North Yorkshire, members of a scout group have created a piece of art they hope is likely to be spotted by the TV cameras in the helicopters encompassing the race.

Image copyright Martin Dawes/ Geograph
Image caption People embraced the Tour de France spirit when the Grand Depart came to Yorkshire in 2014
Image caption Bunting, bikes and bizarre greets will feature in the race

The large white letters spelling out the longest place name in England – Sutton-under-Whitestonecliffe – have been constructed with 70 bed sheets.

The market town of Thirsk has also been “yarn bombed” – or covered in knitted and crocheted designs – to greet the riders.

Stage one: Beverley to Settle – 186 km

Riders will parade around Beverley, which played host to the 2015 Tour, before heading to the racecourse for the ceremonial start at 11:50 ahead of the race start at 12:00 BST.

They will then weave through the Wolds, traversing the A64 at Tadcaster before heading north past Wetherby and into the Yorkshire Dales.

Once the cyclists leave Pateley Bridge there is a tough climb at Greenhow Hill. It is then downhill from Grassington to Gargrave and along the A65 before a finish in Settle at just after 16:30.

Stage two: Otley to Doncaster – 136 km

The second leg, which begins in the home town of Olympic cyclist and 2014 ‘s Otley Grand Prix winner, Lizzie Armitstead, will see male and female cyclists ride the same route for the first time.

Past Harewood, the start of last year’s Grand Depart, riders should be able to pick up speed as the road loops to the east of Leeds. The race then heads south towards Pontefract and into South Yorkshire for a finish in Doncaster.

The women’s race will see a ceremonial start from 08:15 before the race real begins at 08:30. It is expected to end around 11:30.

Meanwhile a ceremonial start for the men’s race will take place at 14:20 with the official start 10 minutes later. The riders are expected to arrive at the finishing line at around 17:30.

Stage three: Middlesbrough to Scarborough – 198 km

The final day starts in Middlesbrough, which forms part of the ceremonial district of North Yorkshire before riders take a tour of marketplace townships including Stokesley and Northallerton.

From Thirsk they will head on to Sutton Bank and through the national park before going over the moors to Whitby and finishing along Marine Drive in Scarborough.

The ceremonial start takes place at 11:10 with the race proper get under way at 11:35. It’s expected the riders will finish the road at approximately 16:30.

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