RICHMOND has been revealed as a starting destination for next year’s Tour de Yorkshire.

Welcome to Yorkshire announced the North Yorkshire town as the starting point for stage three of the four-day event.

The riders will roll out of Richmond’s cobbled market place and head to Catterick Garrison before the start flag is lowered.

They’ll then travel to Leyburn and on to Morton on Swale where the first intermediate sprint will be fought out.

Spectators will line the route at Northallerton and Thirsk before crossing into the North York Moors and the notorious Sutton Bank climb.

The first contenders over the top will be rewarded with points in the mountains classification.

The action will then pass through Helmsley and on to Pickering for a second intermediate sprint, before taking to Scarborough for the first time.

The peloton will continue to Filey seafront before heading inland and back towards Scarborough.

The frontrunners will race along South Bay, around the castle walls, and finish along North Bay.

The town will feature on Saturday, May 5, 2018.

It was named as one of eight host destinations in September.

Today’s conference was held at the Square Chapel Arts Centre in Halifax.

The other successful towns are Barnsley, Beverley, Doncaster, Halifax, Ilkley, Leeds and Scarborough.

Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive Sir Gary Verity said: “It was a proud moment unveiling the full route today. We’ve worked hard to design a dramatic and varied parcours which takes in some of our county’s most spectacular terrain. I’m sure the world’s best riders will relish the challenge it poses and we’ll be treated to a tremendous fourth edition.

“Last year’s race attracted 2.2 million spectators and generated £64 million for the local economy, and now that is has been extended from three to four days, the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire promises to be the biggest and best one yet.” 

Amaury Sport Organisation’s Tour de France Director Christian Prudhomme said: “Gary and his team have done a fantastic job and I am excited by what next year’s route has in store. I enjoy coming to Yorkshire and the county always puts on a tremendous show.

“Seeing the race finish on The Headrow in Leeds will be particularly special and bring back a lot of happy memories from when the Tour de France started there in 2014. I still regard that as one of our grandest Grand Départs and I’m sure we’ll be in for another memorable day. The way Yorkshire supports cycling is incredible and I look forward to seeing more bikes, banners and bunting in 2018.”

Julie Harrington, Chief Executive of British Cycling, said: “Next year’s Tour de Yorkshire is shaping up to be the best yet and British Cycling is proud to support Welcome to Yorkshire and ASO as they seek to inspire people across the county to get active by getting on their bikes.

“Britain’s appetite for seeing world-class cycle sport has never been healthier and the people of Yorkshire can make a strong claim to be among the country’s biggest bike lovers.”

Councillor Carl Les, leader of North Yorkshire County Council, said: “Our communities value this race and like to make an event of the event as it passes through.

“They have embraced the tour each year, with millions lining the route to show a warm North Yorkshire welcome not only to the many people who come to watch the races, but also to a worldwide television audience.

“I’m confident that in May it will be the same again, if not even better, both in the places that have hosted the race before and those enjoying it for the first time.”

Stage four will see cyclists take to the Yorkshire Dales National Park in Embsay before travelling up Wharfedale to Kettlewell with a sprint at Kilnsey.

This stage will then feature Coverdale, Middleham and Masham. 

Nick Cotton, member champion for recreation management at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, added: "I am really looking forward to seeing the Tour de Yorkshire come back to the National Park and taking on some challenging climbs.

"We will be working with local communities to ensure that disruption is minimised and that this fantastic event can be celebrated and enjoyed.”

Earlier this year it was revealed the men’s race will grow from three to four days, and the women’s race will double in size from one to two days.

The event will run from Thursday, May 3 and Sunday, May 6, 2018.

Mark Cavendish, who clocked 30 Tour de France stage victories, is set to compete.

He was the world road race champion in 2011 before winning his first Olympic medal in the omnium in Rio 2016.