Tour de Yorkshire 2019 Stage Two preview
Following on from all the action on Thursday 2nd May, the drama starts up again on Friday 3rd May with our second South Yorkshire start in a row, this time in Barnsley. Unlike with Doncaster the day before, Barnsley has hosted a start of the race before - when the second stage of the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire rolled out in earnest from in front of the magnificent town hall.
Friday 3rd also gives fans a first look at the Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race for 2019. In a move away from previous years, the women’s race has been moved from the Thursday/Friday slot to Friday/Saturday in a hope to give the race further exposure and allow for more people to watch the race with increased crowds likely on a weekend day. So just like in 2018, Barnsley will get a two for one deal, with the women’s race setting off in the morning, before the men set off later in the day. Both the women and the men follow the exact same 132km parcours, starting out in Barnsley before heading north.
Expect a frantic start to the race again, as teams fight to get riders into the break, but perhaps the pace will be particularly high as the day’s first intermediate sprint comes just 20.5km into the action at Pontefract outside the former Army Barracks building before the route passes the town’s most famous landmark, Pontefract Castle which was built in the 11th Century and survived 500 years until it was torn down after the English Civil War.
The peloton continues north passing through Kippax and Garforth, two communities that have particularly embraced the race before – with Kippax winning the Best Dressed Village competition in 2018 and Garforth local Samantha Whitley earning our very first Spirit of the Tour award in 2018 too.
The riders then continue through Bramhope and Pool in Wharfdale – two places where on an ordinary day you might well see famous Yorkshire brothers, the Brownlees, out training – before the riders hit the only categorised climb of the day at the Côte de Lindley. This climb is 1.5km in length and at 7.4% will challenge the bunch but is unlikely to prove crucial in anything other than the overall mountains standings, where the first woman over will become the first Queen of the Mountains in the 2019 edition.
Then comes arguably one of the most interesting aspect of the day’s racing, as the riders reach Harrogate. It is here when the teams will get a first look at the Harrogate circuit, something that will become the stuff of cycling folklore later in the year during the 2019 UCI Road World Championships in September. Riders taking part in this year’s edition of the race will be in an unrivalled position come September as they will have been able to, first-hand, experience the weaving, tight, technical Harrogate circuit which will prove crucial during the World Championships. The day’s second intermediate sprint comes in Harrogate as well, on the exact finish for all the World Championships routes too.
From here, the race continues north, past the 14th century country house Ripley Castle and pass close to Ripon’s majestic Cathedral, through picturesque villages North Stainley & West Tanfield before arriving into Bedale – a host town for the very first time in 2019.
Overall, it’s a relatively short stage with one categorised climb and only 1,441m of climbing so, like the day before, expect an early breakaway to form and the stage to most likely finish with the fast folk making their way to the front for a classic bunch sprint into Bedale. At this point, both the women’s and men’s races should be nicely poised heading into what will prove to be a brutal weekend.
This stage of the Tour de Yorkshire takes place on the 3rd May 2019. You can view the full map of this stage in detail here.