The organisers of the Tour de Yorkshire have taken more big steps to promote women’s cycling during the 2019 race.
For the first time, the women’s peloton will follow the same routes as the men during their two-day event in May.
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The race will also be held on a Friday and Saturday, giving more people the opportunity to watch the race.
Chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, Sir Gary Verity, said: “I’m also proud that we’re continuing to lead the way when it comes to promoting women’s cycling.
“Changing the start of the women’s race from Thursday to Friday should guarantee greater exposure and the routes for the two stages are now exactly the same as the men’s.
“That means there’s over 1,000m more cumulative climbing that last year and we’ll be in for some enthralling racing.”
The women’s race will be held on May 3-4 , following the same routes as stages two and three of the men’s race.
This means any riders looking at the women’s World Championship road race will be given the chance to test out the finishing circuit in advance under race conditions.
Stage one, Barnsley – Bedale (132km) – May 3
This stage has the potential to draw in some big names from the professional peloton, as it takes on some of the same roads as the 2019 World Championships route.
Setting off from Barnsley, the 132km stage heads north-east to Pontefract, then round Leeds onto Leathley.
There the peloton will take on the first of five new climbs on this year’s route – the Côte de Lindley.
From there it’s on to Harrogate, where riders have the chance to tackle the exact same circuit being used in the Worlds road race.
Tour de Yorkshire organisers have added an intermediate sprint along Parliament Street where the Worlds finish line will be, giving riders a unique chance to recce the course under race conditions.
The stage then continues north to Ripon and onto Bedale for a predicted bunch sprint.
This route will also be the exact same setting for stage two of the Tour de Yorkshire men’s race
Stage two, Bridlington – Scarborough (132km) – May 4
Heading out of Bridlington, riders will take on the North York Moors National Park over 132km.
The Côte de Silpho follows, then the opening intermediate sprint at Harwood Dale.
After heading north, the route follows a 52km loop just after Flyingfales.
Passing through Robin Hood’s Bay, the peloton then hit the Côte de Hooks House Farm, then on to Whitby.
Spectacular views will then follow on the approach to Sansend, where the Côte de Lythe Bank awaits.
After summiting that climb, the Côtes de Grosmont and Ugglebarnby are just 7km apart.
It will be a fast finish down into Scarborough, where the race wil head around the castle walls and on to the finish along North Bay.
Again this will be the same route followed by the men on stage three.