Monthly Archives: January 2020

Hilliest ever Tour de Yorkshire route revealed

Marianne Vos

Marianne Vos celebrates victory in the inaugural Women’s Tour de Yorkshire last year

The 2020 Tour de Yorkshire will feature more climbing than ever before, with ascents of Buttertubs and Grinton Moor, which were washed out of last year’s World Championship course.

The four-day men’s race begins with a 176.5km (110 mile) stage between Beverley and Redcar on 30 April.

The two-day women’s race follows stages two and three of the men’s race with equal prize money on offer.

Leeds will host the finish of the men’s race on 3 May.

It is the sixth staging of the race that is a legacy of the county hosting the Grand Depart of the 2014 Tour de France.

“Once again, the team at Welcome to Yorkshire have done a tremendous job in designing such a beautiful, challenging and varied route,” said Christian Prudhomme, who also directs the Tour de France for organisers ASO.

“They are both harder than ever before, and when you factor in the millions of fans that will be lining the route, we know that the 2020 edition will be one to remember.”

Skipton hosts the start of the women’s race, and stage two of the men’s race, with both races following the same route through the Yorkshire Dales to Leyburn.

Saturday’s second stage for the women starts in Barnsley and heads across the moorland to Huddersfield, with the men taking a slightly longer route.

And Leeds will host Sunday’s finish for the men after a punishing day featuring seven categorised climbs in North Yorkshire and a trip up the famous cobbled main street in Haworth.

The 2019 races were won by Britain’s Chris Lawless and the Netherlands’ Marianne Vos.

Yorkshire hosted last year’s Road World Championships in September but the route had to be revised because heavy rain made conditions tricky for competitors.

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‘He takes an early bath!’ Wet Yorkshire weather causes two HUGE crashes

2019 Tour de Yorkshire

Men’s race

Stage one: Thursday, 30 April – Beverley to Redcar (176.5km)

Stage two: Friday 1 May – Skipton to Leyburn (124.5km)

Stage three: Saturday, 2 May – Barnsley to Huddersfield (134km)

Stage four: Sunday, 3 May – Halifax to Leeds (177.5km)

Women’s race

Stage one: Friday, 1 May – Skipton to Leyburn (124.5km)

Stage two: Saturday, 2 May – Barnsley to Huddersfield (114.5km)

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Froome training again after injury and targeting fifth Tour de France win

Chris Froome on the podium after winning the 2017 Tour de France

Chris Froome enjoyed the last of his four Tour de France wins in 2017

Britain’s Chris Froome has confirmed that he will go for a record-equalling fifth Tour de France title in 2020.

The Team Ineos rider is training again after being seriously injured during the Criterium du Dauphine last June.

Defending champion Egan Bernal and Geraint Thomas, the 2018 winner, will spearhead the team at this year’s Tour.

“The only appointment I’ve set myself is the Tour de France,” said Froome, 34. “The prospect of going for a fifth yellow jersey is massive for me.”

Froome suffered a fractured right femur, a broken hip, a fractured elbow and fractured ribs, and lost consciousness after crashing on a practice ride during the Criterium du Dauphine in Roanne, France.

His four victories came between 2013 and 2017. and only four riders have won the Tour five times – Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain.

“It’s such a motivation,” Froome added. “On top of that now, coming back from this injury, it’s even more reason for me to try to get back there.

“There are no guarantees in sport, there are no guarantees that I’ll be back to challenge for it, but I’m going to give it absolutely everything I’ve got.”

Froome’s crash ruled him out of last year’s Tour and in his absence Colombian Bernal, 23, won ahead of Welshman Thomas, 33.

Team Ineos boss Sir Dave Brailsford has confirmed the British team are planning on the pair being co-leaders on this year’s Tour.

“As it stands at this moment in time, we are looking at Richard [Carapaz] going to race the Giro [d’Italia] and try and retain his title there, and then for Geraint and Egan to take on the challenge of, and focus on, the Tour,” said Brailsford.

“Of course, Chris coming back, he’s still really craving that big fifth win and he’s working very, very hard to get back to the level required to be competitive.”

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Cavendish likely to miss out on Olympics place

Mark Cavendish racing on the track at the Six Days of Gent

Mark Cavendish has funded his own track race programme this winter

Mark Cavendish looks set to miss out on a track spot at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics after he was not selected for the final World Cup event of the season.

Cavendish, 34, was hoping to race in the madison as the event returns to the Olympic programme this year.

He still needs to race a World Cup event or the world championships next month to be eligible for the Olympics.

British Cycling has chosen Ollie Wood and Ethan Hayter for the men’s endurance events in Canada this month.

The sixth round of the World Cup takes place in Milton from 24-26 January.

Cavendish, who is a three-time madison world champion, won silver in the omnium at the Rio 2016 Games.

He has combined training on the road with racing in track events this winter and reached the target of 250 qualifying points at a race in Switzerland last month but has not been called up by British Cycling for a World Cup event.

Cavendish could yet appeal for special dispensation to race but British Cycling head coach Iain Dyer has previously said they may not take a madison specialist to Tokyo in order to take a rider who can also race the team pursuit.

The five-man endurance teams at the Olympics must cover all the pursuit and bunch racing events, though Cavendish was taken to Rio as the fifth man.

The Manxman has joined Bahrain-McLaren on the road for 2020 and will start his season at one-day classic Milan-San Remo, which he won in 2009.

He is likely to target the Tour de France and attempt to add to his 30 stage wins as he looks to break Eddy Merckx’s record of 34.

Cavendish, who was affected by the Epstein-Barr virus over the past two years, was left out of the 2019 Tour by former team Dimension Data.

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Tour de France 2020: Nairo Quintana set to compete after Arkea-Samsic team handed wildcard

Nairo Quintana

Quintana won stage 18 of the 2019 Tour de France

Two-time runner-up Nairo Quintana is set to race at the 2020 Tour de France after his Arkea-Samsic team were handed a wildcard slot as one of 22 teams.

Colombian Quintana, 29, is a previous winner of the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a Espana but was second to Chris Froome in the 2013 and 2015 Tours.

Nineteen WorldTour teams take part in the three-week race, including Froome’s British-based Team Ineos.

France’s Total Direct Energie qualify as 2019’s leading ProTeams outfit.

A second wildcard has been awarded to another French team, BB Hotels-Vital Concept.

Quintana’s team will also feature French climber Warren Barguil.

The 28-year-old won two mountain stages and the mountain classification at the 2017 Tour.

“Quintana-Barguil, the ticket looks great for a mountainous Tour!” said race organiser Christian Prudhomme.

The 2020 Tour de France starts in Nice on 27 June, finishing in Paris on 19 July.

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Isle of Wight could host Tour of Britain final stage in 2021

Tour of Britain 2019

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Getty Images

Image caption

The 2019 event started in Glasgow and finished in Manchester

The UK’s biggest cycle race, the Tour of Britain, could make its Isle of Wight debut next year after plans were approved for the island to host the final stage of the event.

Isle of Wight Council’s cabinet approved the proposals for the 2021 multi-stage event on Thursday evening.

Final negotiations with organisers SweetSpot will now take place in a bid for a contract, it said.

Hosting the final stage of the event is expected to cost about £340,000.

Image copyright

Image caption

Mathieu van der Poel won the 2019 event

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PA Media

Image caption

World and Olympic champion Sir Bradley Wiggins won the Tour of Britain in 2013

The authority said it hoped to meet most of the cost through sponsorship and had already agreed to appoint a third party to secure the funding.

It added: “The benefit to the local economy could be as much as £4m.”

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Alex Whitehead/

Tour of Britain

  • The event dates back to the first British stage races held just after World War Two, reputedly following a dispute between cyclists
  • The current version of the multi-stage event began in 2004
  • The eight-day race covers 1,250 km (777 miles) on British roads
  • It has previously attracted world-class riders including Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome, Mark Cavendish and Geraint Thomas
  • The Tour of Britain is broadcast in 190 countries worldwide

Source: Tour of Britain

Isle of Wight Council leader Dave Stewart said: “This is a brilliant opportunity for local businesses to get their name out there and associated with a prestigious international event.”

He added the final stage of the tour would be held at a weekend which would help “boost economic benefits” as it would attract more spectators and coverage.

Image copyright
Lewis Clarke

Image caption

Isle of Wight Council said is would carry out final negotiations with event organisers in a bid for the island to host the final stage of the race in 2021

SweetSpot has not yet responded to a BBC request for comment.

Cornwall will host the Tour of Britain for the first time in September, where the race will start in Penzance. It will finish in Aberdeenshire on 13 September.

The 2019 event, from Glasgow to Manchester, was won by Dutch rider Mathieu van der Poel.

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