A full preview of the route of the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire
As in previous years the hardest stage will come at the end of the three days, although in 2017 the race organisers have given the Tour de Yorkshire a real sting in the tail, with a 194.5km stage from Bradford to Sheffield which features a massive 3,500m of climbing.
Before that come another hilly stage finishing in Scarborough, and a relatively flat stage from Tadcaster to Harrogate, which will also provide the parcours for the third running of the women’s Tour de Yorkshire on the same day as the men.
Tour de Yorkshire 2017 route
Stage one, April 28: Bridlington to Scarborough (173km)
Starting in the coastal town of Bridlington, the route of stage one of the Tour de Yorkshire gives the riders a fairly flat start to the race before the first classified climb of the race at Garrowby Hill.
After a feed zone in Pickering, the race will then head north into the North York Moors, with more serious climbing at Goathland and Robin Hood’s Bay.
This last climb has featured in all previous editions of the Tour de Yorkshire, and will cause serious splits in the field with its double digit gradients as the peloton climbs out of the picturesque fishing village.
From the top of that climb it is a windswept ride across the moors before a descent towards the seafront finish in Scarborough, a finish that has never been contested by more than five riders in the history of the race.
Stage two, April 29: Tadcaster to Harrogate (122.5km)
Tadcaster is the host of the start of the second stage of the Tour de Yorkshire, the first time it has hosted a stage start in the race’s three year history.
After what should have been a testing opening day, stage two should prove a slightly easier prospect, with only one categorised climb on the relatively short 122.5km route.
That said, the climb out of Lofthouse is not to be sniffed at, with an average gradient of 12 per cent over nearly two kilometres. That should be enough to shed some of the sprinters, but with more than 60km left until the finish, they should be hopeful of regaining contact.
Despite a slightly different approach, the finish line and the final couple of kilometres into Harrogate are the same as were used on stage one of the 2014 Tour de France, with a slight uphill drag towards the line.
The route of stage two will also be used as the parcours of the women’s Tour de Yorkshire, meaning we should see a sprinter take victory in the most lucrative race in women’s cycling.
Stage three, April 30: Bradford to Fox Valley, Sheffield (194.5km)
By far the hardest stage in the history of the Tour de Yorkshire, stage three sees the riders tackle no fewer than eight categorised climbs between Bradford and the Fox Valley retail park on the outskirts of Sheffield.
After starting in the centre of Bradford, the riders head north through Bolton Abbey and Skipton, before a foursome of climbs culminating in Shibden Wall, a cobbled climb on the outskirts of Halifax with steep slopes of 25 per cent.
After some flatter roads around Huddersfield, the riders will cross the finish line in Stocksbridge before embarking on a tough finishing circuit.
This 20km finishing circuit includes four classified climbs, with the final ascent out of Midhopestones being the toughest, averaging 10 per cent for its 1.4km length.
From the top of that climb there are only five kilometres to the finish, where we can expect either a solo rider or a very select group to contest the win.