British Cycling-licensed riders will be able to race in an 80km women's race held in York, hours before the men's race finishes in the city

A women’s race will be held during the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire on May 2, organisers announced on Monday.

Riders will complete four laps of a 20km circuit around the city of York starting at 11am, just hours before the men’s race finishes in the same location.

The closed-road race will be open to British Cycling licensed riders, from Elite down to 3rd category, and riders can experience the huge crowds that are likely to gather for both races.

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “We promised from the start to bring more women’s racing to Yorkshire’s roads and by hosting this race and taking advantage of the spectators, race infrastructure and media spotlight already on York that day, we’ll show women’s racing off to the world”

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Bob Howden, president of British Cycling added: “This is a fantastic new addition to the calendar and a great showcase for women’s racing. The York circuit is set for huge crowds and a superb atmosphere, so we look forward to an action packed day”.

In addition to the women’s race on the Saturday, a women-only sportive – the Cycletta – will take place the following day, taking in part of stage three of the tour’s route.