Organisers of the Tour de Yorkshire were eager to ensure that the Asda sponsored women’s race was a prestigious event and the peloton are certainly gearing up to present an exciting performance.
With a £50,000 prize fund, and first place fetching £15,000, the event is one of the most lucrative women’s races in the world. The route covers 136km – the same distance and route as that negotiated by the men on the second of their three day tour, and there are three classified climbs, and two intermediate sprints.
Weather conditions have been less than favourable, with snow falling just days ago, and rain today – but forecasts show bright sun for much of tomorrow morning in the area. So it’s lucky the women will be finished by lunch time, then!
Otley home girl Lizzie Armitstead is probably the rider on everybody’s lips. However, she’s already played down her chances of victory – telling us on Monday that she’s had a week off the bike to recover following spring racing and that her attention is now on Rio.
Other key riders to look out for on the start list are Kirsten Wild (Hitec Products), Dani King (Wiggle High5) plus team mate Julien D’Hoore, Shelley Olds (Cylance Pro Cycling), and Dame Sarah Storey (Podium Ambition Pro Cycling Powered By Club La Santa).
There will be 17 teams represented in total, including London based team Les Filles. The black-and-pink train was initially not included, but later added in light of their team member Louise Mahe being the defending champion after her win last year…
The race will start at 8.15am on Saturday 30 April, ahead of the men’s at 2.20pm, and will be broadcast live on ITV4 (10am – 12.30pm) and Eurosport (8.30am – 12pm).
The route covers 136km, from Otley to Doncaster.
If you’re local, or making a trip to watch, the best places to position yourself are probably at the start or finish, or at one of the Queen of the Mountain points. These are at Harewood Bank, near Harewood House, East Rigton, and Conisbrough Castle.