Extended to a four-day race for the fourth edition next year, the host towns for the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire were announced on Wednesday, with Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity hoping to attract some star riders to the north-east of England next May.
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“People are putting together their schedules for 2018 now,” said Verity, as reported by The Herald.
“But the names we clearly want to attract are the world’s best sprinters in Kittel and Cavendish and also the man of the moment – we want to get Chris Froome to ride the race.
“I think Chris would like to come and ride the Tour de Yorkshire and we would love to have him, so hopefully when the bosses at Team Sky are putting the schedules together this will fit well.”
The four-time Tour de France winner has never ridden the Tour de Yorkshire, instead choosing to take part in the WorldTour-level Tour de Romandie (which usually clashes with the British race) as he builds towards the main goal of his season in July.
The two races do not clash in 2018, but with only three days before the last stage of the Tour de Romandie and the first stage of the Tour de Yorkshire, Froome would likely have to choose one race or the other, and may be reluctant to abandon the Swiss race which has served him well him in his Tour de France preparation in the past.
Froome has often been joined in Switzerland by some of Team Sky‘s best known riders as they also build towards the Tour de France, with the British team generally fielding a team of Classics specialists and all-rounders in Yorkshire, winning the inaugural edition with Lars Petter Nordhaug in 2015.
Jointly organised by Welcome to Yorkshire and the Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO, which also organises the Tour de France), the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire will visit Barnsley, Beverley, Doncaster, Halifax, Ilkley, Leeds, Richmond, and Scarborough in its new four-day format, with the women’s version of the race also being extended to two days.
The 2018 men’s race was won by Serge Pauwels of Dimension Data, while Lizzie Deignan (Boels-Dolmans) provided a home victor for the women’s race.