Getting ready for the Tour de Yorkshire

Tour de Yorkshire Stage 3. The riders climb out of Newmillerdam with massive crowd support.

Tour de Yorkshire Stage 3. The riders climb out of Newmillerdam with massive crowd support.

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The second Tour de Yorkshire gets underway this weekend.

Since the success of the Tour De France and the Grand Depart back in 2014 the Tour de Yorkshire has continued its legacy.

Tour de Yorkshire ceremonial start at Wakefield
Sir Bradley Wiggins lines up on the start line

Tour de Yorkshire ceremonial start at Wakefield Sir Bradley Wiggins lines up on the start line

This year the second stage of the route will pass through the Wakefield district.

The race starts on Friday 29 April and runs until Sunday 1 May.

And on Saturday the race will weave its way through our district.

New to this year’s race there will be the publicity caravan and tour ambassadors including Tour de France legends Brian Robinson, from Mirfield and Wakefield’s own Barry Hoban.

Brian Robinson, Joanne Roney and Cllr Peter Box share a joke as they perform the starting ceremony in Wakefield for the start of the Tour de Yorkshire

Brian Robinson, Joanne Roney and Cllr Peter Box share a joke as they perform the starting ceremony in Wakefield for the start of the Tour de Yorkshire

Mr Hoban, who won eight stages of the Tour de France between 1967 and 1975, said: “I went to school in Wakefield and became a professional cyclist in 1964 on around £20 a week.

“No one was paid a fortune back in those days not even footballers.

“I hope from this year’s Tour de Yorkshire people will start remembering who cyclists are and give them more credit for the sport they’re doing.

It is an incredibly hard sport to do so I also would love to see as many people as possible coming out to cheer on the guys and girls taking part.”

Barry Hoban climbs up Kidstones pass  part of  the first stage of the 2014 Tour de France.

Barry Hoban climbs up Kidstones pass part of the first stage of the 2014 Tour de France.

“It is a great event for Yorkshire but sadly for me it is 40 years too late. I would have loved to have been able to take part and compete.”

Brian Robinson was the first Briton to win a stage of the Tour de France in the 1950s.

He said that he would like to see a British winner this year: “We’ve got some really good riders so I’d love to see a Brit win but to be honest I would really like to just see a good race - and hopefully the weather will be nice too.

“It is brilliant that we’ve got the Tour de Yorkshire. It really puts us right at the top of cycling events.

“Yes there is the Tour de Britain and all of those but ours is unique and that makes it really special.

“Within the past five years and certainly since the Tour de Yorkshire I’ve watched cycling teams grow.

“For example in my team we had just 80 people and now we have over 200 people in the team. There is now more ladies getting involved now which is also really good.”

Mr Robinson still remembers the days when he cycled in the Tour de France.

He said: “It was enjoyable even though I had no idea how hard is was going to be.”

“Fortunately I never fell off while riding but it is one of the best sports in the world.

“There aren’t many sports where you can sit down. Back in my day we had no guidance. I came home from France and went back to work on the Monday. It is good to see that these days it is a big industry employing hundreds of people.

“Now though, I am proud to say my grandson, Jake Womersley, is now into cycling so seeing him getting into the sport makes me happy.”

Last year around 30,000 people turned out to watch the Tour de Yorkshire in Wakefield and the race brought in an estimated further £1m to the Yorkshire economy.

A number of well known cyclists will be riding in this year’s race including Sir Bradley Wiggins and last year’s winner Lars Petter Nordhaug.

Also on the day there will be a ‘Celebration Hub’ behind Knottingley Sports Centre with activities for people of all ages including face painting and a BMX stunt display.

At South Elmsall Market, the Cycle Forum will be promoting the new cycle maps and local rides.

Wakefield Council’s Sports and Active Lifestyles Team will be hosting stationary cycling challenges and running competitions and activities throughout the day, with prizes to give away.

The Tour de Yorkshire, organised by Welcome to Yorkshire and Amaury Sport Organisation, first took place last July after the success of the Yorkshire Grand Depart.

Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire said: “Spectators will also get the chance to meet some of the best cyclists the world has ever seen thanks to our wonderful race ambassadors who will help to make this year’s Tour de Yorkshire unforgettable.”

The women’s race is expected to arrive in Knottingley not long before 10am and the men’s will arrive around 4pm.

The route will consist of rolling road closures on Saturday and will cause disruption for around 50 minutes in Pontefract town centre.

Wakefield Council has said that anyone travelling in the area should expect disruption and plan their journeys.

More information is available at Wakefield Council’s dedicated Tour de Yorkshire microsite www.wakefield.gov.uk/tdy

Don’t miss a moment of the action

A publicity caravan, which features Yorkshire brands as well as the official Tour de Yorkshire artist, will be making stops during the weekend to give away gifts and samples.

The tour caravan is set to ride through the Wakefield district starting at Monk Fryston at 1:30pm.

Pontefract Southgate will be the next stop for the caravan at 1:55pm, onto Wentbridge House Hotel at 2:05pm,

Ambassadors are set to arrive at Barwick in Elmet maypole at 1:30pm and then on to Knottingley Social Club and spectator hub at 2:25pm before moving to South Elmsall, Doncaster Road and High Street junction at 3:05pm.

Timings for when the riders pass through our district :

Sherburn in Elmet - 3.21pm

South Milford - 3.24pm

Monk Fryston - 3.26pm

Hillam - 3.28pm

Birkin - 3.33pm

Beal - 3.36pm

Kellingley - 3.38pm

Knottingley - 3.41pm (Weeland, Road, Hill Top, Pontefract Road)

Pontefract - 3.46pm (Knottingley Road, Bondgate, Southgate, Mill Hill Road, Carleton Road)

Carleton - 3.51pm

Wentbridge - 3.57pm

Thorpe Audlin - 3.59pm

Badsworth - 4.02pm

Upton - 4.03pm

South Elmsall - 4.05pm (Mill Lane, High Street, Doncaster Road)

Hooton Pagnell - 4.12pm