Sir Bradley Wiggins and Marcel Kittel have been confirmed as two of the stars who will take part in the first ever Tour de Yorkshire.  The 2012 Tour de France winner will lead his own Team WIGGINS developmental squad while the German sprinter will return to Yorkshire a year after wearing the first yellow jersey in Harrogate at the Tour de France 2014.

At Welcome to Yorkshire’s Y15 annual conference in Scarborough the race organisers, Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) and Welcome to Yorkshire, announced the teams which will be taking part.  It was revealed that the new race has attracted significant interest from teams, following the massive crowds and challenging terrain which combined in July last year to make it a spectacular Grand Départ of the Tour de France.

Under UCI regulations as a 2.1 stage race, the Tour de Yorkshire has selected a field from five WorldTeams, six Professional Continental Teams, four Continental Teams and a Great Britain National Team.

Geraint Thomas TDF ©www.chrismaher.co.uk / CyclingShorts.cc

©www.chrismaher.co.uk / CyclingShorts.cc

In total, seven of the teams who raced in the Tour de France are returning to Yorkshire’s roads, and will be joined by an exciting mix of European and home-grown talent.  British cycling fans are expected to be delighted at the inclusion of top teams such as Team Sky and brand new Team WIGGINS.

The WorldTeams making a return to Yorkshire following the Tour de France, are: Team Sky, Team Giant-Alpecin, BMC Racing Team, Team Lotto NL-Jumbo, and IAM Cycling.

The Professional Continental Teams are: Cofidis Solutions Credits, Team Europcar (who both raced in July 2014), MTN-Qhubeka, Cult Energy Pro Cycling, Roompot Oranje Peloton, Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise.

Continental level teams are: Team WIGGINS, NFTO, ONE Pro Cycling and Madison Genesis.  The GB National Team will also field eight riders.

Christian Prudhomme, Director of the Tour de France, said: “We will be glad to return to Yorkshire after the huge success of the Tour de France 2014 Grand Départ, the grandest ever. The first ever Tour de Yorkshire will be another occasion to showcase the outstanding landscapes of the county, especially of the coast which we didn’t visit last year with Le Tour. Tour de Yorkshire will be a great opportunity to review young talents among British riders and enable them to ride with top Tour de France professional teams and cycling stars like Sir Bradley Wiggins and Marcel Kittel.”

It is now up to teams to decide their 8 riders for the race, over a route which was unveiled by Jean Etienne Amaury from ASO in Bridlington in January.  The three stages are each quite different, with a punchy route for 174km of Stage One from Bridlington to Scarborough; a tactically important sprinter’s day on Stage Two from Selby to York over another 174km, and a return to some of the climbs and challenges of the Grand Départ as the third day takes riders 167km from Wakefield to Leeds on 3 May.

Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said; “Today is a landmark moment for Yorkshire and it is a credit to every single person who played a role in the Grand Départ – whether they were a spectator, a rider, a Tour Maker – that we have attracted such a high calibre of teams to this first edition of our new race. The start and finish towns for the Tour de Yorkshire and everybody who has already picked out where they will watch on the day, and now, every member of these teams, will experience one of the greatest sports events in the UK in 2015.”

Riders will be selected by the teams and announced in April.  Stage one of the Tour de Yorkshire, on Friday 1st May, will start in Bridlington and finish in Scarborough. Stage two, on Saturday 2nd May, will start in Selby and finish in York and stage three, on Sunday 3rd May, will start in Wakefield and finish in Leeds.

The Tour de Yorkshire will be shown live on television in the UK, on British Eurosport and ITV, as well as to 70 countries around the world with a huge television audience expected.

Maps of the routes, timings and information for spectators can be found at; letouryorkshire.com/routemaps

A women’s race of four 20km laps of a York circuit will be held on day two of the race, Saturday 2nd May. Team and riders will be announced in April and one of the first major names confirmed as taking part is Dame Sarah Storey, one of Great Britain’s most decorated female Paralympians in history having won 11 Gold, eight Silver and three Bronze medals across six Paralympic Games. In 2014 Sarah and her husband established women’s team Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International, which dominated the UK domestic racing scene in their first season and, it has been announced today, will be racing the Women’s Tour de Yorkshire.

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