The bikes are at the ready - and today we know where they will be going!
Full route details of the Doncaster leg of the Tour de Yorkshire 2016, which is set to attract thousands of spectators and generate millions for the region, have just been announced.
It means that residents can now see exactly how close some of the biggest names in world cycling will come to their doors.
Doncaster is amongst the six towns across Yorkshire that have been selected to host next year’s iconic race by organisers Welcome to Yorkshire and the Amaury Sport Organisation.
Stage Two on Saturday April 30 2016 will see the 18 teams of eight riders race from Otley to Doncaster.
Cyclists will take in hidden gem Hooton Pagnell, before a sprint point at Warmsworth before a lap of, and King/ Queen of the Mountain - given to the best climber at 11th century Conisbrough Castle.
The peloton will then head towards Tickhill and Bawtry before racing along the perimeter of Doncaster Sheffield Airport, past Doncaster Racecourse and onto a sprint finish on South Parade.
Stage Two marks an important milestone for the Tour de Yorkshire, as the women’s race will be held on exactly the same route as the men’s race.
The women’s race will start in the morning and the men’s race will begin in the early afternoon.
The 2015 Tour de Yorkshire was watched by millions around the world in 177 different countries, while almost one million people came to the region to witness the race first hand.
Doncaster Council bosses are predicting next year’s event will be even bigger and help put Doncaster on the map.
Mayor Ros Jones said: “We are very excited to be hosting a finishing stage of the Tour de Yorkshire on what will be a buzzing Saturday in Doncaster. The route will take in some of the most well-known and important landmarks in the Borough, from Cusworth Hall to Yorkshire Wildlife Park, while there will also be a fantastic loop around the historic Conisbrough castle. Thousands of people will be able to enjoy the sprint finish along Bennetthorpe, close to the town centre.
“We are very fortunate to also be able to host the women’s race on the same Saturday, featuring some of the best female cyclists in the world. I’m confident that local people will flood the streets to see these elite cyclists speeding through our town, and am looking forward to our communities creating the kind of party atmosphere that will really promote Doncaster on the world stage.
“Welcome to Yorkshire has estimated that this year’s event generated £50million for the Yorkshire region, and 2016’s event promises to be even bigger and better. I’m delighted that Doncaster has been chosen to benefit from hosting this global event, and am sure our local businesses will make the most of the opportunities available including exposure on national television networks and global media interest.”
Dan Fell, chief executive of Doncaster Chamber said: “We are delighted that Doncaster town centre has been selected to mark the end of Stage Two of this momentous event. The route passes through some of the area’s main business districts so will boost tourism and the local economy along the way. The fact that it is bringing millions of spectators to the roadside and generating millions for the local economy is sure to be of huge benefit to Doncaster business,” says Dan Fell, CEO for Doncaster Chamber.”
The route will take the 18 teams of eight riders to all four corners of Yorkshire, linking together the county’s sporting, historic, industrial and literary greats.
Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “For next year’s race we’ve selected routes which showcase Yorkshire’s stunning scenery and will also deliver an excellent sporting event. Our first race was phenomenally successful, bringing 1.5 million spectators to the roadside, generating over £50 million for the regional economy and being broadcast around the world - not many races can say that. The stages we’ve revealed today are eagerly anticipated by fans, riders and teams and we have all the ingredients for another spectacular race which will bring the crowds back out.”
Stage One begins in Beverley, home to one of England’s finest Minsters, before the peloton races to Tadcaster and on to Knaresborough which was the scene of some of the biggest crowds for the Tour de France in 2014. Taking in some of the Grand Depart 2014 route, a series of climbs takes the riders past Brimham Rocks before a finish in Settle.
On Stage Two, men and women will face exactly the same stage which starts in Otley, home of the current women’s road World Champion Lizzie Armitstead. From Otley riders travel south, on roads not raced on in the Tour de France or Tour de Yorkshire, towards Conisbrough Castle and on to Doncaster.
Stage Three will be familiar to those who raced in 2015, starting in Captain James Cook’s home town of Middlesbrough, then into Herriot Country before tackling the infamous Sutton Bank, the first of six King of the Mountain points in just one stage. Riders then head over the North York Moors and down towards Scarborough for what promises to be a thrilling finale and a race to the very end.