Wiggins leads Tour de Yorkshire pack

Bradley WigginsBradley Wiggins
Bradley Wiggins
Some of the world's best and most exciting riders will descend on Yorkshire in two weeks' time for what promises to be an electric weekend of racing at the Tour de Yorkshire.

Among the top names released today for the men’s and women’s races are World and Olympic champions, world record holders, as well as Grand Tour and Monument winners.

In total, 38 riders on the provisional rider list have ridden in the Tour de France and 25 have taken part in all three Grand Tours.

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We will also see the welcome return of many riders who competed in last year’s Tour de Yorkshire including the winners of both men’s and women’s races.

Sir Bradley Wiggins will celebrate his birthday in Yorkshire as he prepares for the race with his Team Wiggins teammates, and last year’s winner, Team Sky’s Lars Petter Nordhaug, will be joining us again, as well as Pete Kennaugh, current British road champion, and Luke Rowe. Australian team Orica GreenEDGE will bring British rider Adam Yates as well as Mathew Hayman, who cycling fans will instantly recognise as the winner of this year’s Paris-Roubaix. Orica GreenEDGE will also be bringing Caleb Ewan, Australian National Criterium Champion.

BMC will bring Rohan Dennis (former hour record holder and Tour de France yellow jersey wearer), as well as Ben Hermans who won Stage 3 of the Tour de Yorkshire last year. Also returning to the race are Cofidis rider Nicolas Edet (winner of the overall King of the Mountain classification in 2015) and ever popular rider, Thomas Voeckler from Direct Energie. Dimension Data will bring Tour de France stage winner Steve Cummings, who will be joined by Bernie Eisel. Giant Alpecin are bringing Warren Barguil, Bert De Backer and Koen de Kort.

The men’s race will also see a very strong Yorkshire contingent, with ten riders. Racing for the Great Britain team will be Frazer Clacherty, Gabriel Cullaigh and Oliver Wood; JLT Condor bring Russ Downing, Graham Briggs andTom Moses. Madison Genesis rider Tom Stewart will take part, as will NFTO’s Josh Edmondson, plus honorary Yorkshireman who lives in Skipton, One Pro Cycling’s Pete Williams. Joining Bradley Wiggins at Team Wiggins isLiam Holohan.

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The Asda Women’s Tour de Yorkshire, with a new format and full stage exactly the same as the men’s race, marks a step change in the approach to women’s race organisation in the UK. World Champion and Otley born Lizzie Armitstead will lead the women’s peloton out from her home town towards Doncaster on a 135km route which is fully televised and offers one of the biggest prize funds in the world.

Also racing are some of the top female riders including British Olympian Danielle King riding for Wiggle High5, Kirsten Wild and the Hitec Products squad, as well as Shelley Olds racing with Cylance Pro Cycling.

The race will also see the return of 2015 winner, Louise Mahé, racing with Les Filles Racing Team. Also making a welcome return to Yorkshire is Dame Sarah Storey OBE, racing with her Podium Ambition Pro Cycling Powered By Club La Santa team.

In 2015 the first edition of the Tour de Yorkshire attracted over 1.5 million spectators and a £50m boost to the regional economy.

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Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “In just our second edition we have attracted some incredible riders with great depth and experience, and I’m delighted with how many riders are making a return to Yorkshire from the 2014 Tour de France and 2015 Tour de Yorkshire.

"The Asda Women’s race marks a real turning point for women’s racing and with full tv coverage for both races, we can’t wait till the spotlight falls on Yorkshire once again on April 29."