The full route of the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire was announced on Tuesday, December 5, in Halifax – and the tough course has been given a widespread vote of approval from riders, teams and cycling fans.
Beverley hosts the opening stage start on Thursday, May 3, for a relatively flat stage to Doncaster. The following day's stage two has received a lot of interest, with the route from Barnsley to Ilkley featuring the race's first summit finish on the Cow and Calf climb.
Stage three from Richmond to Scarborough should be another day for the sprinters, before the fourth and final stage from Halifax to Leeds on Sunday, May 6.
>>> Tour de Yorkshire 2018 route revealed: maps and profiles of every stage
This final stage is a gruelling day featuring six categorised climbs and barely a flat piece of road. It's this stage that has caught many people's attention.
Dimension Data sprinter Mark Cavendish was at the route presentation, and gave his succinct verdict as he was interviewed on stage: "It's hard, isn't it!". Cavendish said that he hopes to ride in the 2018 edition of the race, having been forced to sit out the 2017 edition.
“I would have been here this year," said Cavendish. "But I was at home watching with glandular fever.”
Cavendish continued: "Hopefully, if I don’t get glandular fever again and I’ll try to be on the start line in Yorkshire."
Team Sky said on Twitter: "We're looking forward to this one! Four days of great racing in store at #TDY".
One Pro Cycling's team principal Matt Winston said: "Each year the Tour de Yorkshire is a key point in our season. The variety of stages in this year's edition will be really exciting with something for everyone.
"Stage four will prove pivotal, however there are some stings in the tail earlier in the race, which will make things interesting."
Race commentator and former pro rider Paul Sherwen said of the brutal final day: "Stage 4 of @letouryorkshire @LeTour looks like it will be and should become a classic stage in UK cycling."
Local rider Tom Moses (Condor JLT) also likes the look of stage four, saying: "All the stages look great but I think this one is my favourite – a local stage for me going through my village and on my training roads."
Simon Warren, author of the book 100 Cycling Climbs said: "Forget Xmas, there are just 152 sleeps until Stage 4 of the @letouryorkshire Can't wait".
WNT Pro Cycling's Gabriella Shaw said of the final day of the tw0-stage women's race: "Very excited about this stage. Finishing on my training roads and tackling Old pool bank and the Cow & Calf. Thank you"
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