THE ROUTES of the 2020 Tour de Yorkshire have been revealed - and there’s good news for local cycling fans.

This year’s edition of the event will take place from Thursday, April 30 to Sunday, May 3. The Men’s race will once again be in four stages over four days - from Beverley to Redcar on April 30, Barnsley to Huddersfield on May 1, Skipton to Leyburn on May 2 and Halifax to Leeds on May 3.

The Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race, meanwhile, will take place over two stages on May 1 and May 2, following similar routes to the Men’s stages for those days.

It is the final, Halifax to Leeds section of the Men’s event that will be of most interest to fans in Wharfedale and Aireborough.

On May 3 the competitors will pass through Blubberhouses, Askwith, Ilkley, Menston and Otley as they head towards Leeds - and the local action will include two climbs, at the Cow and Calf and Otley Chevin.

This year’s routes were announced on Friday, January 17 by new Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive James Mason and the Amaury Sport Organisation’s Tour de France Director, Christian Prudhomme.

Dame Sarah Storey and Skipton’s Pete Williams were among the professional riders who attended the press conference, while Otley’s Lizzie Deignan and reigning men’s champion Chris Lawless sent in video messages.

Mr Mason said: “This year’s routes look fantastic. Many of our county’s iconic climbs. We’re lucky to have such a diversity of landscapes here in Yorkshire and these races will have something for every type of rider.”

Otley Town Council leader Councillor Richard Hughes said: “I am unsurprised that the organisers of the Tour de Yorkshire have again chosen to route the race through Otley. Our reputation as a cycling town rightly continues to grow and we are pleased to have the opportunity to provide again a great crowd for the tour.”

Otley and Yeadon ward Councillor Sandy Lay said: “I’m pleased that once again the race will come through Otley and up the Chevin as it brings much-needed publicity, recognition and trade for our area.

“On a slightly negative point I tried to encourage the council’s race team to get the organisers to also go through Yeadon, but without success. I can quite easily visualise the race coming through Otley, up the Chevin, past the airport, down the High Street and onto the A65 to the finish - so I’ll make the same request each year until Yeadon gets to experience what Otley frequently enjoys.”

Jill Birch from Otley Cycle Club said: "It is fantastic to see that the Tour will once again finish with the Yorkshire Classic stage which, this year,  incorporates the Cow and Calf as well as the Chevin.

"This stage has become such an exciting finale to the race and to have our two local, iconic climbs featured so prominently is just the icing on the cake."

Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Healthy People and Places, Councillor Sarah Ferriby, added: “We are delighted that once again the Bradford district has been chosen as a location for the Tour de Yorkshire.

“We’re thrilled that the district will see two stages of this year’s race which will feature Queensbury, Keeham, Oxenhope, Haworth, Oakworth. There will also be a climb at both Cote de Goose Eye and the Cow and Calf, and a sprint at Ilkley.”

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