Today's the day - the Tour de Yorkshire is finally upon us!
The three day cycling spectacular got underway yesterday but all eyes will be on Doncaster today when the town and scores of surrounding villages will be turned yellow and blue for the arrival of the world’s star bikers.
Unfortunately, Tour de France winner and Olympic hero Sir Bradley Wiggins will not be leading the sporting spectacular through our region after pulling out yesterday but thousands of people of all ages are still expected to turn out to cheer on the race as it winds its way from Hooton Pagnell to a thrilling finish on Bennetthorpe in the centre of Doncaster.
Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire said: “Legends will be made and routes around our county will be immortalised. Not only will this reinforce our aim of making Yorkshire a cycling heartland of Euorpe but will also continue the global promotion of our amazing county as a must-see visitor destination. Let the race begin!”
Here’s all you need to know about the Tour de Yorkshire!
The three day race started in Beverley yesterday and will end in Scarborough tomorrow.
Stage 2: April 30: Otley (14.20pm) - Doncaster (17.23pm)
Stage 3: May 1: Middlesbrough (11.10am) - Scarborough (16.25pm)
Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s race:
April 30: Otley (8.15am) - Doncaster (11.59am).
DONCASTER LEG MEN'S RACE TIMINGS
(Timing are approximate)
Plan ahead and be prepared to ensure a great day out. Dress sensibly, bring refreshments and plan your travel and transport arrangements in advance. Remember, roads will be closed, public transport will be busier than normal and roads will also have increased levels of traffic. Find out more and plan your journey in advance at www.letouryorkshire.com
ROADS ALONG THE ROUTE
The impact on the roads will be limited. In most cases, the roads will be closed on a rolling road closure basis lasting no more than an hour. The only exceptions will be the start and finish locations and some climbs where the closures will be longer. Road closures will be managed by the police. Do not park along the race route. For further details and public transport news and details on car parking, go to letouryorkshire.com
WHERE TO WATCH
Think about what you really want to see. As you will be able to move about each stage, you will have the option to see both the starts and the finishes.
Highlights of the route through the Doncaster area will be the sprint at Warmsworth, a climb at Conisbrough Castle and the race into Doncaster along Bennetthorpe to the finish at the war memorial.
The villages and towns along the route will also be busy. Wherever you choose to watch, get there early and sample the food and hospitality on offer.
The best option might be walking or of course, getting on your bike.
PREVIEW THE COURSE
You can follow in the tracks of the world’s greatest cyclists with a whistle-stop tour of the Doncaster leg of the Tour.
Cyclist Russ Newton hopped on his bike, equipped with a GoPro camera, to capture some of the highlights of the route on film. Join Russ in our great video to see what’s in store.
You can see it at www.doncasterfreepress.co.uk/news/watch-take-a-high-speed-trip-through-doncaster-section-of-tour-de-yorkshire-1-7845760
DON’T MISS THE ACTION
You can download complete race timings at letouryorkshire.comn/timings.
Look out for the Tour de Yorkshire caravan - it will be calling at designated points along the route - and the publicity caravan is a spectacle not to be missed. It will set off from Beverley at 9.50am, Otley at 12.20pm and Middlesbrough at 9.10am.
Keep in touch at the Facebook page “letouryorkshire” and on Twitter: @letouryorkshire
RESPECT, PROTECT AND ENJOY
Respect other people - don’t block gates, driveways and roads. Protect the environment and take your litter home.
For your safety and protection of the countryside, leave gates as you find them and only follow designated footpaths. Don’t climb over hedges or trespass on private land, just to get a better view.
Don’t sit, climb or stand on dry stone walls or people’s private property. Avoid parking on grass verges where you may cause damage.
Take pictures but do so safely and don’t obstruct the riders. Be extra careful with selfie sticks.
Be extremely careful with flames and cigarettes - it only takes one spark to start a fire. Avoid barbecues to protect the countryside and others.
Keep dogs on leads at all times and stay on footpaths. When near the race, your dog must be on a lead - there have been crashes in the past where dogs have escaped onto the course.
While all villages along the route will be hosting events, the biggest of the attractions will be the Doncaster Fan Zone.
Aiming for a carnival atmosphere packed with attractions and entertainment – it will take place on Saturday at Town Field - and is free. There will be fun-fair rides, a live music stage, army assault course, a variety of food and drink stalls, cycle demonstrations and interactive activities and the Great Big Donco arts event.
There will also be the 500m Donny Dash which will bring together the fastest cyclists from primary schools across the borough to compete in a sprint
The event will see 20 schools taking part and sending one girl and one boy from Y5/6 to compete in the race which will be held on the finishing straight on Bennetthorpe between 12.30 and 1.30pm.
Doncaster Wheelers Cycle Club, who are celebrating the 90th anniversary of the club this year, will be showcasing their Junior Go-Ride coaching sessions at the finish line area between 3pm and 4pm. The coaching includes all the skills required to compete in cycle sport.
Right Up Our Street will be presenting two performances of The Great Big Donco, co-commissioned by Yorkshire Festival.
Hear songs and stories of the Donco - a mythical beast of old Danum town - and see the large-scale creature come to life animated by an intergenerational company of local community performers.
Performances of The Great Big Donco will take place on Bennetthorpe at approximately 10am and 2pm.
Not only this, there will also be a giant screen where fans can watch the Tour de Yorkshire live, follow the various stages throughout the day, relive the highlights and enjoy the festival atmosphere that the Tour brings.
Meanwhile, communities across Doncaster are also preparing for the arrival of the Tour.
With the route passing through a number of Doncaster’s towns and villages, community groups, businesses, schools and residents are pulling out all the stops to serve up a packed programme of entertainment and attractions while decorating their neighbourhoods with impressive land art.
Live music, time trial races, birds of prey displays, BBQs, fairground rides, family fun events and exhibitions are just a snapshot of the activities planned.