By Tom Clayton
The 2019 Tour de Yorkshire will be among the first cycling events in the world to have equal length stages for male and female riders, it was announced today.
The event from Thursday May 2 to Sunday May 5 2019 will also see the women’s race televised alongside the men’s as they compete on the Friday and Saturday of the Tour.
The news follows the announcement of the route map for the 2019 Tour de Yorkshire at Leeds Civic Hall on Friday morning by Tour de France race director Christian Prudhomme and Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Sir Gary Verity.
Mr Prudhomme said: “Yorkshire is unique.
“The Tour de Yorkshire is unique because of the two parts, the men’s and the women’s race.
“I am delighted to be back here in Leeds where it all began, this county is brutal, yet beautiful.”
The Frenchman also announced that the 2018 Champion Greg van Avermaet and British Champion Connor Swift will compete in the event.
The race itself will last four days in total for the men’s edition and two days for the women.
Stages one and two of the men’s race will take place on the Thursday and Friday, racing from Doncaster to Selby and Barnsley to Bedale respectively.
On the Friday, the peloton will pass through Harrogate, providing a one and only chance to test the course ahead of the UCI Road World Championships in September.
Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “We are using it essentially as a rehearsal for next year’s World Championships in Harrogate.
“It is the only time the men and women will be able to ride the circuit before next September’s Championships.”
The Saturday, which will be the final day for the women’s race, will travel from Bridlington to Scarborough up the Yorkshire coast.
On the final day of the men’s event, the race will depart from the Halifax Peace Hall to the Headrow in Leeds, in what is a repeat of the final day of the 2018 tour.