The world’s top female riders join the action in Skipton and start in the morning with the men following in the afternoon. Both routes are identical and feature two intermediate sprints in the opening 35km. The first comes in Settle with the other following in Horton in Ribblesdale. The route then heads past the Three Peaks and Ribblehead Viaduct, and once the riders have exited Hawes, the Côte de Buttertubs will be immediately upon them. This rises to the highest point of the race and is one of two climbs that have not been visited since the 2014 Tour de France. The other is the Côte de Grinton Moor, and that fearsome double-header could see a few stragglers distanced before a fiercely contested finale in Leyburn.
Halifax’s Piece Hall is a spectacular location for the start of this decisive stage for the men before they head into Brontë Country. Haworth’s quaint cobbled Main Street will feature prior to the opening intermediate sprint in Oakworth. The first of seven categorised climbs is then looming large, and the Côte de Goose Eye could catch a few riders unaware coming so early in the stage. The action then returns to Skipton before the next climb comes on the Côte de Barden Moor. Once that has been scaled it’s on to Burnsall where the riders hit the Côte de Skyreholme. In Greenhow, the route commences a 64km loop which includes the Côte de Lofthouse. Any stragglers that slip back on there will seek to regain parity on the subsequent descent into Masham, and then it’s back to Pateley Bridge before the riders head back up the Côte de Greenhow Hill. Passing through Askwith before a second intermediate sprint will be contested in Ilkley before the race hits the infamous Côte de Cow and Calf. The final climb will then be fought out on Otley Chevin and the race then sweeps into the outskirts of Leeds via Kirkstall Abbey. All the while the pace will be rising and the action promises to reach a rip-roaring conclusion once again along The Headrow.
Full details on the route can be found at http://letouryorkshire.com