PARTS of the Yorkshire Dales devastated by flooding last year - when downpours damaged homes and washed away bridges - will be back under the spotlight when they feature in this year’s Tour de Yorkshire.

Welcome to Yorkshire announced the routes for the sixth edition of the race this morning, with the men’s racing taking place from April 30 to May 3 this year and the women’s race running on May 1 and 2.

The men’s race gets going in Beverley and proceeds to Hornsea before following the coastline in a northerly direction.

The first intermediate sprint will be contested in Flamborough, and Filey and Robin Hood’s Bay both make welcome returns before the first mountains classification points are up for grabs on the Côte de Hooks House Farm.

A second intermediate sprint will take place at Whitby Abbey, and once the riders have passed through Sandsend they’ll be faced with the second climb of the day – the Côte de Lythe Bank.

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Skipton is once again a host town Picture: SWPix

The first day's action finishes in Redcar – the most northerly location the Tour has ever visited. 

Day two of the event will see the men and women’s races travelling from Skipton to host town Leyburn, passing through Reeth and other parts of Swaledale and Arkengarthdale, which were badly affected by flash flooding in July last year.

Torrential rainfall submerged roads, destroyed homes and businesses and washed away two road bridges.

The area had formed part of the route for the Senior Mens Road Race in the UCI Road World Championships last September, but the race was diverted following further torrential rain.

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North Yorkshrie Cllr Yvonne Peacock, Stuart Price, Cllr Carl Les at Grinton

Now, the 2020 route will include Grinton and Reeth.

One of the properties impacted by the July floods was the Bridge Inn at Grinton, near Reeth.

The heavy rainfall washed away its entranceway bridge over Grinton Beck, damaged walls and flooded part of the building.

Andrew Atkin, landlord of the pub, said; “Obviously last year we had a terrible summer with the flooding which caused devastation - not just to this pub, but the whole of the dale.

“We lost a lot of trade during what should have been the busiest part of the year for us.

"But I have friends who lost a lot more; many people lost their homes. It really left a big mark on the place.

“But people are resilient and this year it would be nice to have an event which puts the focus back on the dales and lets people know this area is open for business.”

Stuart Price runs the Dales Bike Centre in Swaledale, which offers a range of services for visiting cyclists, including bunk bed accommodation, bike repairs, and a café and bike wash service.

His business is about to undergo a £1.3m expansion and he said: “I wouldn’t be expanding without the Tour de Yorkshire.

“There’s no way a little business like ours would be looking at a £1.3m expansion without the confidence in this market and seeing a huge increase in business over the last few years.”

Mr Price said he was looking forward to seeing the race pass through some stunning sections of the Yorkshire Dales.

“It’s a great area for cycling and it’s great that this year’s event will take in this climb at Grinton Moor," he said. "This is a must-do route for a lot of cyclists."

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Leyburn Community Primary School pupils celebrate the news

The route near Grinton will also take in a section of road where a masonry bridge was dramatically washed away by the floods, just over a mile south of Grinton.

North Yorkshire County Council engineers and contractors worked around the clock to have the Whipperdale Bank road reopened with a replacement bridge within about five weeks.

North Yorkshire County Council leader, Cllr Carl Les said: “It’s not just the local economy which benefits; it’s also about community. Our towns and villages up and down North Yorkshire have demonstrated they have a real appetite for staging celebrations when the races come through.”

North Yorkshire will feature in three of the four days of men’s cycling and on the first day of the women’s cycle race.

Stage one of the Men’s Race will follow the Yorkshire Coast after setting off from Beverley, passing through Filey, Whitby and Staithes before finishing in Redcar; the most northerly point the race has reached.

Stage two will see Skipton form the start point for the race and Leyburn the finish. It is the first time either community has been a host town for the Tour de Yorkshire.

The final day of the Men’s Race will see cyclists return to the Yorkshire Dales for part of the route, as they cycle from Halifax to Leeds, taking in Skipton, Pateley Bridge and Masham on the way.

Announcing the race routes at a conference in Leeds today, James Mason, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “It’s exciting for me to be involved with the Tour de Yorkshire for the very first time and this year’s routes look fantastic.

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Redcar Ings Farm Primary School pupils

"Many of our county’s iconic climbs are included, and we’re particularly pleased to see Buttertubs and Grinton Moor making appearances after they were unfortunately cut from the World Championships route on account of the weather last September. 

“Seeing the men and women tackle Shibden Wall will also be special, and we’re delighted to be bringing the race to so many new places as well.

"We’re lucky to have such a diversity of landscapes here in Yorkshire and these races will have something for every type of rider.

"I’m really looking forward to it and I’m sure we’re in for some really exciting action.”

Christian Prudhomme, ASO’s Tour de France Director, said: “Once again, the team at Welcome to Yorkshire have done a tremendous job in designing such a beautiful, challenging and varied route and I am looking forward to seeing how both races play out."

“They are both harder than ever before, and when you factor in the millions of fans that will be lining the route, we know that the 2020 edition will be one to remember.”

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Official TdY artist Claire Baxter

In the presentation, Claire Baxter was announced as the Official Tour de Yorkshire Artist for 2020.

Ms Baxter, who lives in Harrogate and manages her own gallery in Pateley Bridge, works predominantly in oil and produces figurative works in her own distinctive style.

She will now begin creating a series of specially commissioned Tour de Yorkshire pieces which will be available in the lead up to the race.