RICHMOND in North Yorkshire has been revealed as one of the host towns for the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire cycling race.

THE route for the spectacular event, between May 3 and 6, was announced by officials this morning in Leeds.

The Northern Echo:

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Sir Gary Verity makes the announcement this morning. Picture: WELCOME TO YORKSHIRE/FACEBOOK

The news comes after cycling's governing body, the UCI, confirmed this month the Tour - which has been extended to four days for the first time - will be included on their 2018 Europe Tour calendar between Thursday, May 3 and Sunday, May 6.

The Asda Women’s Tour de Yorkshire will also double in size next year, increasing from one to two days on Thursday May 3 and Friday, May 4.

Barnsley, Beverley, Doncaster, Halifax, Ilkley, Leeds and Scarborough are the other hosts.

Organisers hope extending the tour and broadening its appeal will see some of the top riders in the world sign up to compete, including the likes of sprinter Mark Cavendish.

“This is a massive coup for Richmond – and for the Richmondshire area,” said District Council Leader, Cllr Yvonne Peacock.

“We don’t know whether we will be seeing the race set off from our district or welcoming the riders home, but whichever, we will work hard to give everyone a very memorable experience.

“The TDY brings in people from across the UK and Europe and we intend to make sure our beautiful area stands out next May.”

Richmondshire District Councillor Stuart Parsons, who represents the Richmond West Ward, said they were looking forward to welcoming more visitors to the area.

He said: “I think it will be quite exciting. We’re looking forward to getting the details and making it a success and making sure everyone has a good time with us and what else we can do.

“It will be interesting to see how they get on with the cobbles.”

Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “The Tour de Yorkshire is a true success story and in just three years it has grown to become one of the best attended and most dramatic races on the cycling calendar.

“Of course, with the men’s race being extended to four days and the women’s race now being held over two, it means we can visit more parts of the county and I know our eight start and finish locations will put on a real show.”

The full 2018 race route will be unveiled on December 5 – this announcement will include exact start and finish locations and the distance and profile of each stage.

Speaking at the launch, Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “The Tour de Yorkshire is a true success story and in just three years it has grown to become one of the best attended and most dramatic races on the cycling calendar.

“Of course, with the men’s race being extended to four days and the women’s race now being held over two, it means we can visit more parts of the county and I know our eight start and finish locations will put on a real show.”

Sir Gary's comments were echoed by Christian Prudhomme, Director of the Tour de France at the A.S.O. 

“The Tour de Yorkshire has gone from strength to strength over the last three years and we are delighted to be working in partnership with such a great team at Welcome to Yorkshire," he said.

“The way people get behind the race in Yorkshire is incredible and we are looking forward to another fantastic edition in 2018.”

Julie Harrington, Chief Executive of British Cycling, added: "Next year's Tour de Yorkshire is shaping up to be the best yet with more stages for the men's and women's races and, at British Cycling, we're looking forward to working with colleagues and partners across the county to use the inspiration of the world's best riders to get even more people on bikes."