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Start and finish locations for 2016 Tour de Yorkshire revealed

Start and finish locations for 2016 Tour de Yorkshire revealed

Published at 11:50am 9th October 2015. (Updated at 6:35pm 10th October 2015)

Otley and Settle will host a start or finish for next year's Tour de Yorkshire.

Beverley, Doncaster, Middlesbrough and Scarborough have also been chosen as host towns by organisers Welcome to Yorkshire and the Amaury Sport Organisation (A.S.O.).

The three-day men's race will be held between Friday 29 April and Sunday 1 May, with the women's race taking place on Saturday 30 April.

A small number of start and finish locations for 2017 have also been confirmed, with Harrogate, Halifax, Fox Valley (Sheffield) and Selby announced as hosts.

The first Tour de Yorkshire in May this year attracted one-and-a-half million spectators and over six million global TV 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, added: "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 also see a return of the Maserati Tour de Yorkshire Ride and a chance for Tour Makers to volunteer on the race route and to help welcome spectators.

Full details of the route will be announced in December, including the exact start and finish locations and the distance and profile of the race.

In Craven, funding has already been agreed to cover not only hosting the event, but also making sure that Settle will get maximum benefit.

Councillor Richard Foster, Leader of Craven District Council, said: "The Tour de France was fantastic for our area, and the Tour de Yorkshire has been very successful this year. It's clear that cycling events are very popular in this part of the world.

"In agreeing the funding, members were very clear that they wanted other areas outside of Skipton to reap the benefits of a top-class sporting event. We are therefore delighted that another area of Craven will now have the opportunity to play host to such an event."

Councillor Carl Les, Leader of North Yorkshire County Council, added: "There is no doubt that the county of Yorkshire has firmly established itself on the international cycling map and it is important that North Yorkshire plays a key role, as we know how these events have strengthened the county's economy and given a huge boost for our tourism industries.

"Now in its second year, the race will reach other parts of the county, such as those in the Craven District, as well as revisiting the beautiful East Coast which gave such a showcase to the event in 2015."

Unlike the Tour de France, the Tour de Yorkshire is managed by a rolling road closure, minimising the impact on local residents and businesses.

The race could also include a festival event held alongside the start and finish area, encouraging spectators to stay or come and watch the race on a big screen and take part in entertainment events.