The host towns or cities selected to be the start and finish points of the first ever Tour of Yorkshire international bike race are soon to be confirmed.
The three-day spectacle, confirmed as part of the UCI world cycling body’s 2015 calendar from May 1 to 3, will take place over the next three years at least and is hoped to drive Yorkshire’s cycling legacy forward.
Welcome to Yorkshire is in the midst of planning next year’s debut race, with key agreements in the process of being signed off and announcements of start and finish points expected in the next fortnight.
Officials from ASO, which will partner Welcome to Yorkshire in running the race, visited the region once again this week and will return for talks next week.
Six start and finish points have been earmarked for the three days of racing but the tourism agency is remaining coy on where exactly it will run.
Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “It’s not going to be the same route every year and we hope it will go to a number of places that the Tour de France didn’t visit, for example the east of Yorkshire and the coast in particular but not exclusively that – like the North York Moors. We do have places in mind.”
Full routes will be revealed on January 21, which will mark 100 days before the Tour of Yorkshire begins.
Organisers are working to the model that 1million people will turn out on the roadside to watch the event’s debut over the three days.
Liz Nicholl, chief executive of UK Sport, said: “It will be a great opportunity for people to relive that moment and there will be a lot of yellow I’m sure.”
Organisers have said they will not seek Government funding for the race and that deals with sponsors and broadcasters are being pursued in line with a costed business plan, although it is not clear how much the event will cost to stage.
Bob Howden, president of British Cycling, said: “A new world-class race helps underline a commitment to cycling in all its forms.”
Visit www.letour.yorkshire.com for information.