The countdown is on for the start of the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire after the race routes were announced.
Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, and Christian Prudhomme, race director of the Tour de France, visited Halifax's Piece Hall earlier today to reveal the routes.
They were joined by 30-time Tour de France stage winner Mark Cavendish who says he wants to among the riders taking part in this year's race.
The 2018 Tour de Yorkshire routes in full:
Stage 1 - Beverley to Doncaster (May 3)
- The men's route starts next to the Minster and heads to Hornsea before looping back through Beverley and heading west to Little Weighton, North Dalton, Pocklington and Howden to the only climb at Baggaby Hill near Kilnwick Percy. The stage finishes on South Parade in Doncaster.
- The women's route is similar but shorter. It doesn't go to Hornsea - starting by heading west out of Beverley instead and then follows the men's route to Doncaster.
- 2x Sprints (Pocklington / Howden)
- 1x KOM climbs (Baggaby Hill – in between Warter and Kilnwick Percy)
Stage 2 - Barnsley to Ilkley (May 4)
- The men's route starts outside Barnsley Town Hall, goes past Conisbrough Castle, then north to Pontefract, Castleford, Garforth, Scholes and past Harewood House. There's a climb at Old Pool Bank then the riders go down the back roads out the back of Otley to Ilkley past the Lido, then up through Ilkley to finish at the top of the Cow and Calf.
- The final stage of the women's race follows a similar path but is again slightly shorter, finishing on the Cow and Calf.
- 2x Sprints (Swinton / Scholes)
- 3x KOM climbs(Blacker Hill / Old Pool Bank / Cow and Calf)
Stage 3 - Richmond to Scarborough (May 5)
- Starts in the centre of Richmond then heads to Catterick Garrison, Leyburn, Bedale, Northallerton, through the North York Moors, up Sutton Bank to Helmsley. The riders then travel to Pickering, through into Scarborough from the north and then down to Filey seafront then the route loops back up to Scarborough to finish on the sea front.
- 2x Sprints (Morton-on-Swale / Pickering)
- 2x KOM climbs(Sutton Bank / Silpho)
Stage 4 - Halifax to Leeds (May 6)
- Starts inside the Piece Hall, then to Mytholmroyd, Sowerby Bridge, Hebden Bridge, Oxenhope, Haworth up Main Street cobbles. The riders then head to Oakworth, Goose Eye, up Skipton High Street, into the Dales and up Barden Moor then through Burnsall and Threshfield to Kilnsey Cragg and the Park Rash climb outside of Kettlewell. The riders then head to Middleham, Masham, Greenhow, Blubberhouses, Otley up the Chevin, past Kirkstall Abbey, through Armley to finish on the Headrow in Leeds.
- 2x Sprints (Kilnsey / Blackhill Road)
- 6x KOM climbs(Hebden Bridge / Goose Eye / Barden Moor / Park Rash / Greenhow Hill / Otley Chevin)