The Asda Tour de Yorkshire – launched in 2015 after the Tour de France‘s visit to God’s own country the previous year – is back for its fifth edition.
Taking place between 2 and 5 May, the cycling race encompasses all four corners of the county and takes in 150 villages, towns and cities.
The men’s course will cover 617.5km (384 miles) over four stages – one stage each day – while the women’s course covers 264km (164 miles) over two stages.
Here’s everything you need to know about 2019’s race.
Stage 1: Doncaster to Selby (2 May)
178.5km (110.9 miles)
Starting in Doncaster (13:05), the men’s race heads towards Beverley, passing Cowick Hall (14:05) and Howden Minster (14:21).
The first intermediate sprint of the race will be fought shortly before the peloton reaches Beverley, in Elloughton (14:59).
Soon after, the riders reach the Yorkshire Wolds, where they’ll be met by the race’s first classified climb at Baggaby Hill (16:25), which sets them up for a speedy descent into Pocklington for the second intermediate sprint of the stage (16:29).
As the riders’ pace quickens and the sprinters jostle for position ready for the stage finish, they’ll speed towards Selby (17:25), where the Tour’s first stage reaches its conclusion outside Selby Abbey (17:29), celebrating its 950th anniversary.
Full information on the expected race times for Stage 1 can be found on Tour de Yorkshire’s website
Stage 2: Barnsley to Bedale (3 May)
132km (82 miles)
Day 2 of the tour sees the action in the women’s race get underway, as the world’s top female riders join the route in Barnsley for their first stage.
The women kick things off in the morning (09:05) with the men following in the afternoon (14:45).
Both groups of riders will exit Barnsley in a north-easterly direction and head towards Pontefract, where they’ll encounter the stage’s first intermediate sprint (09:45 women/15:21 men).
The route then skirts around Leeds – which will see more action later in the race – before heading to the village of Leathley (10:55/16:22).
Shortly after (10:58/16:25) the peloton will commence the Côte de Lindley – the first of five new climbs on this year’s route.
Harrogate is the next stop on the route, where any riders looking to compete in the 2019 UCI Road World Championships will be able to gain valuable knowledge, with the stage featuring the circuit being used at September’s event (11:07/16:32).
An intermediate sprint along Parliament Street – where the Championships’ finish line will be – means sprinters can get even more tactical practise in (11:21/16:45).
Once the loop has been ridden, the stage continues north through Ripon (11:54/17:13).
After that, it’s full steam into Bedale, where the race organisers are expecting a tight, bunched sprint in the Yorkshire Dales town (12:33/17:47).
Full information on the expected race times for Stage 2 can be found on Tour de Yorkshire’s website (women’s times here)
Stage 3: Bridlington to Scarborough (4 May)
132km (82 miles)
Day 3’s focus is on the Yorkshire coast, and begins in Bridlington (09:05 women/14:45 men) before heading into the North York Moors National Park.
The imposing Côte de Silpho will test the legs shortly after Hackness (10:16/15:32), and there’s an intermediate sprint just after Harwood Dale (10:31/15:44).
Continuing north, the route begins an undulating 52km loop just after Fylingdales (10:46/15:57) that won’t allow any of the riders to relax.
Once the peloton has passed through Robin Hood’s Bay (10:48/15:59) it will immediately hit the Côte de Hooks House Farm climb (10:51/16:02).
Then it’s on to Whitby, with a second intermediate sprint in front of Whitby Abbey (11:01/16:10) before the riders enter the town centre.
The approach to Sandsend (11:11/16:18) should offer some beautiful coastal views, but the riders won’t have much time to appreciate them as they prepare to climb the Côte de Lythe Bank (11:14/16:21).
After that, and with aching legs, the riders head inland, where they will be hoping a tailwind will aid them up the Côtes de Grosmont (11:45/16:47) and Ugglebarnby (11:56/16:56) – just 7km apart.
The pace will likely quicken as the riders descend into Scarborough (12:34/17:28), with any breakaway sweeping along South Bay, around the castle walls and onto the finish along North Bay.
The women’s race comes to an end after just two stages, and it’s here in Scarborough that the winner of the Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race will be crowned.
Full information on the expected race times for Stage 3 can be found on Tour de Yorkshire’s website (women’s times here)
Stage 4: Halifax to Leeds (5 May)
175km (108.7 miles)
The fourth and final stage of the men’s race looks to include more inclines than any of the previous three days.
Halifax’s Piece Hall is the location for the stage roll out (12:35), before the riders head into Brontë Country, and up Haworth’s cobbled Main Street (13:10) – which has gifted the race some iconic images in previous years.
After that bumpy warm-up, it’s on to the Côte de Goose Eye (13:20) for the first real climb of the day, before the race crosses into Craven and up the Côte de Barden Moor (13:46), the next classified climb.
Then it’s into the Yorkshire Dales National Park, with the riders contesting the stage’s first intermediate sprint in the shadow of Kilnsey Crag (14:13) before they hit the Côte de Park Rash (14:26).
A gradual descent into Middleham (14:53) will allow the slightest of respites, before the peloton continues on to Masham (15:15).
The Côte de Greenhow Hill (15:55) sees things head upwards again, before the final categorised climb is fought out on Otley Chevin (16:34).
After that, the race sweeps towards Leeds and one last intermediate sprint in Tinshill (16:46).
It then takes the riders towards the city centre, and the stage finish along The Headrow (17:03).
Full information on the expected race times for Stage 4 can be found on Tour de Yorkshire’s website
What roads will be closed?
The race shouldn’t affect roads too much as it rolls through the Yorkshire countryside, with the tour employing a rolling road closures system.
This means that roads on the route shouldn’t be closed for more than an hour, apart from the start and finish lines and some climbs where the road closures will be longer.
Road closures will be managed by the police, and there are are some sections of the route that need to be closed for longer periods, these are listed below:
Stage 1: Howden, Beverley, Pocklington
Stage 2: Ryhill, Pontefract, Castleford, Kippax, Garforth, Ripon, Harrogate
Stage 3: Whitby
Stage 4: Cross Hills, Skipton, Otley, Cookridge, West Park, Kirkstall
Take a look at the Tour’s expected timings to get an idea of when roads near you might be closed for the race.
Where can I watch the race?
Spectators are permitted to watch the race for free anywhere along the route.
You may need to set out early if you’re planning on heading to more popular locations like starts and finishes, sprints, and even hill climbs (over 2.8 million spectators are expected by the race organisers).
If you can’t face the crowds, or don’t live within a reasonable distance of the route, the full race will also be broadcasted live on ITV4.