Tour de Yorks excitement is gaining pace

The announcement that Kellingley, Knottingley and Pontefract will host part of next year’s Tour de Yorkshire has been met with excitement.

The three-day cycling bonanza, which takes place between April 29 and May 1, has new routes and challenges.

And four-time Olympic champion and 2012 Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins will be among the riders competing in the race.

Knottingley councillor Glenn Burton is excited the route will pass through Kellingley, Knottingley and Pontefract for the first time.

He said: “It is something that we have been campaigning for and we look forward to the benefits that it will bring.

“Knottingley is an important town. We feel there is a lot of potential here so we will do all we can to help drive the economy.”

Stage one of the race on Friday, April 29, will start in Beverley and finish, 184km later, in Settle town centre.

The riders will start stage two on Saturday, April 30 in Otley, the home town of current women’s road World Champion Lizzie Armitstead.

They will ride to Pool-in-Wharfedale and then head towards Kellingley, Knottingley and Pontefract before finishing in Doncaster.

Stage three on Sunday, May 1, begins in Middlesbrough and finishes, 196km later, in Scarborough.

Hundreds of people came to Wakefield to catch a glimpse of the world’s best riders in May for the inaugural event and Coun Burton is hoping Knottingley will create a similar atmosphere.

He said: “Everyone is excited and we want it will be a success.”

The Tour de Yorkshire has been organised by Welcome to Yorkshire and Amaury Sport Organisation, with support from British Cycling and local authorities in the country.

Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Sir Gary Verity said the route for the next Tour de Yorkshire was chosen to showcase Yorkshire’s stunning scenery.

He said: “Our first race was phenomenally successful, bringing 1.5 million spectators to the roadside - not many races can say that.

“The stages we have revealed were eagerly anticipated by fans, riders and teams and we have all the ingredients for another spectacular race which will bring the crowds back out.”

Wakefield Council leader Peter Box said: “I am very pleased that we are welcoming this fantastic sporting event into another part of the district next year.

“This prestigious cycle race is an excellent platform to showcase what we have and bring visitors into the area. I hope that next year’s event will give another huge boost to our district.