team Sky sprinter Ben Swift will be the leading name for White Rose cycling fans to follow in May’s inaugural Tour de Yorkshire, but arguably the most striking statistic is the number of local riders who will miss out.
Whether by their team not opting to contest the race because they are committed elsewhere, or by their squad not being selected, there will be as many Yorkshire riders watching the action unfold as there will be shaping it.
Burley-in-Wharfedale’s Scott Thwaites, for instance, the Commonwealth Games road race bronze medallist who was a reserve for the Tour de France that began on his own roads last summer, will not get so close this time.
That is because his German team Boro-Argon 18 are not on the entry list.
Likewise, there will be no Adam Blythe, the Sheffield sprinter who won the RideLondon event last autumn, because Orica GreenEdge – a World Pro team for so long mentioned as potential participants in the Tour de Yorkshire – will not be on the start line in Bridlington.
Ed Clancy, comfortably the greatest track cyclist this county has ever produced, also rides on the road in the summer for British team JLT Condor.
The Tour de Yorkshire would be the perfect hunting ground for his team, but they are not there, meaning as well as Clancy, Doncaster veteran Graham Briggs and Joe Moses will also miss the opportunity to race on home soil.
Josh Edmondson, who has signed with Irish pro-continental team An Post-Chain Reaction, will miss out because his new team – who he hopes will revive his career after leaving Sky – have not earned selection.
As well as Chris Froome’s absence due to the Tour de Romandie, Mark Cavendish will also be absent because Etixx-Quick Step will not be involved.
Teams were selected by race organisers ASO, as a result of discussion between Thierry Gouvenou (ASO Sports Director for Cycling) and Gary Verity (Welcome to Yorkshire, chief executive).