Following the resounding success of the first Tour de Yorkshire in 2015, the three day road cycling race is firmly on the cycling calendar of events. It’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase our beautiful county, which provides a challenging backdrop to a popular three stage race.
Being avid cycling fans, we were all set to enjoy a whirlwind weekend travelling across the county to follow the race. Here’s what we got up to:
Stage 1 Tour de Yorkshire – Beverley to Settle
Friday was freezing cold – we took a packed train from Skipton to Settle; the train was buzzing with anticipation. Once in the town centre, the crowd built up quickly around the market square, which had been transformed into the beating heart of the Tour de Yorkshire.
We watched the race build on the big screen, keeping warm with hot chocolate from a local cafe (oh, and local beer) and after what were difficult conditions, the stage was won by Dylan Groenewegen from Lotto Jumbo.
Back home, fish and chips and bed – early start tomorrow – off to Doncaster in the morning to watch the Women’s Race come in!
Stage 2 Tour de Yorkshire – Otley to Doncaster
What a day! The sun was shining and I was beginning to think I was overdressed, having taken the precaution of wrapping up warm … until it clouded over!
Sadly, no tv coverage but the progress reports kept coming in so we knew that there was a fight on – what a great finish – so exciting; well done to Kirsten Wild of Hightec Products who pipped Wiggle High5’s Lucy Garner to the post in a bunch sprint, with Dutch rider, Floortje Mackaij (Liv-Plantur) taking third place.
An extra special treat for the Mens afternoon race – we had been invited to the Welcome to Yorkshire VIP enclosure to watch the race. And then the icing on the cake; VIP guests were joined by Lucy Garner and some of her Wiggle High 5 team mates.
Such an interesting chat about the Wiggle High 5 team tactics for the race and their race schedule in the coming weeks. Lovely young ladies – so inspiring!
Fed and watered, we had a fantastic view point overlooking the finish line and again, tv coverage was sporadic so we listened in anticipation to the reports coming in. Another tight finish and a photo-finish; a win this time for Team Sky‘s Danny Van Poppel.
After supper in Doncaster town, back home on the train – it had been a long, long day, and we needed to be up early on the Sunday morning to get to Scarborough for the final days racing.
Tour de Yorkshire Stage 3 – Middlesbrough to Scarborough
Another train journey from the pretty seaside village of Bempton into Scarborough with friends, and a cream tea in preparation for a long afternoon watching the race build.
We managed to find a viewing spot above the finish line to watch another nail biting finish when Frenchman Thomas Voeckler beat Nicholas Roche to win the final stage of the Tour de Yorkshire and claim overall victory in the race.
All the winners were presented with a hamper full of Yorkshire goodies, including a slice of Total Fruit Cake and a Mini Fruit Cake treat. The girls from Wiggle said that they were allowed to treat themselves – everything in moderation!
Christian Prudhomme, head of Tour de France said of the Tour de Yorkshire, “Yorkshire has best crowd in the World for cycling because of its fervour, pride & respect. Bravo”