Anna van der Breggen has become the second Olympic road race champion to confirm her participation in next week’s Tour de Yorkshire, following confirmation last week that fellow Rio gold medallist Greg van Avermaet will ride the four-day men’s race.
Chantal Blaak, van der Berggan’s team-mate at Boels-Dolmans, also heads to Yorkshire after winning the rainbow jersey at last year’s world championships in Bergen.
Van der Breggan is the biggest name in women’s cycling and one of the most in-form riders of the year, having won the prestigious Tour of Flanders, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Flèche Wallonne and Strade Bianche titles, and Blaak won the recent Amstel Gold Race.
They are joined in the women’s peloton next Thursday and Friday by Kirsten Wild, the winner of the inaugural Asda Tour de Yorkshire women’s race back in 2016.
Two British Olympic team pursuit gold medallists will also be present on the startline in Beverley next Thursday; 2016 champion Katie Archibald (Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling) and 2012 winner Dani Rowe (Great Britain National Team).
Italian champion Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling), former world time-trial champion Ellen Van Dijk (Team Sunweb) and 2016 La Course by Le Tour de France winner Chloe Hosking (Alé–Cipollini) are also scheduled to ride the newly expanded two-day event.
The Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race starts and finishes in the same towns as the opening two stages of the men’s race, with the women setting off in the morning and the men following in the afternoon. The routes also feature the same intermediate sprints and classified climbs and offer the same prize money.
Welcome to Yorkshire Chief executive Sir Gary Verity is proud to be bringing the world’s best talent to Yorkshire and believes their presence reflects how highly the Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race is regarded in professional cycling.
He said: “The Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race has cemented its place as one of the highest-profile races in the sport. The top riders in the world are not just attracted to the fact we’re able to offer one of the largest prize funds in the sport and full live TV coverage, it’s because they get to ride in front of massive crowds, receive a warm Yorkshire welcome, and the terrain provides a tough and varied test.
“With the race doubling in size from one day to two in 2018 we’re able to offer something for everyone, and our first-ever summit finish on the Cow and Calf is sure to guarantee a gripping conclusion.”