Halifax to host Tour de Yorkshire in 2017

Tour de Yorkshire, Hebden Bridge. The peloton on Keighley Road, Hebden Bridge
Tour de Yorkshire, Hebden Bridge. The peloton on Keighley Road, Hebden Bridge

As the start and finish towns for next year’s Tour de Yorkshire were announced, it was also revealed that Halifax will host the major cycle race in 2017.

The town will join Fox Valley, Harrogate and Selby in playing a part in the event.

By that time, the renovated Piece Hall will be open in Halifax and it’s likely its stunning surroundings will feature.

In response to the announcement councillor Tim Swift, Calderdale Council’s leader said: “We are very excited about the possibility of hosting either a start or finish in the third annual Tour de Yorkshire in 2017.

“The return of this amazing race to Calderdale would be testament to the borough’s appeal for professional and amateur cyclists.

“Building on the massive success of this year’s Tour de Yorkshire and last year’s Tour de France in Calderdale, we are keen to play an even bigger part in 2017 to boost tourism, economic and community benefits further.

“Local people are already getting out on their bikes more, and the return of the Tour de Yorkshire would help to keep our cycling legacy alive.”

Tour de Yorkshire organisers Welcome to Yorkshire and the Amaury Sport Organisation (A.S.O.) selected Beverley, Doncaster, Middlesbrough, Otley, Scarborough and Settle to host a start or finish in next year’s race.

The three day men’s race will be held between Friday, April 29 and Sunday, May 1.

The women’s race will be held on Saturday, April 30.

The inaugural Tour de Yorkshire was held in May this year and attracted one and a half million spectators and more than six million global television viewers.

Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “From the first moments of the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire, everyone who was there knew it was

something special.

“I’m delighted that we are able to bring the 2016 race to all four corners of Yorkshire. It is testament to how much the county has taken the race to its heart that we have been oversubscribed for next year’s starts and finishes.

“The Tour de Yorkshire is an event in the cycling calendar that riders want to race in and we look forward to welcoming some of the world’s best riders back to Yorkshire next year.”

Christian Prudhomme, Director of the Tour de France at the ASO, said: “Yorkshire is so perfectly suited to international racing and the landscapes create wonderful chances for riders to shine. Many of the teams and riders said that the Tour de Yorkshire reminds them of the Tour de France’s Grand Départ, with the routes, crowds and atmosphere once again combining to create a very special race”.

Next year’s Tour will be also see a return of the Maserati Tour de Yorkshire Ride and a chance for Tour Makers to volunteer on the race route and help welcome spectators at the event.

Several of the host towns announced today are also home to Yorkshire Bank Bike Libraries, a direct legacy of the Tour de France and Tour de Yorkshire, which aim to offer every child in Yorkshire access to a bike.

So far nearly one thousand children have borrowed a Bike Library bike, through school visits, led rides and community activity.

The full 2016 race route will be announced in December 2015 – this announcement will include exact start and finish locations and the distance and profile of the race.