🇬🇧 Tour de Yorkshire 2018 – Preview
Photograph by James Whitesmith
The fourth edition of the Tour de Yorkshire returns in 2018 with a mixture of World Tour, Pro Continental and local continental teams. I’m especially excited about this race as it’s on my doorstop and I will be on the road to watch the peloton pass by on stage one, and hopefully stage two. This years the TDY has expanded to four stages, which may change the dynamic of the race to the previous three editions. Please see last years preview by clicking here.
Stage One starts in the market town of Beverley and heads out to the seaside town of Hornsea, before turning back through Beverley towards Pocklington. Just before Pocklington the peloton will face the first categorised climb of the Tour de Yorkshire in the Côte de Baggaby Hill (I love the french pronunciations through the Tour de Yorkshire). The Côte de Baggaby Hill is a 1.9km climb of 4.6%. After the climb it is shortly followed by the first intermediate sprint. This comes at 93km and will likely be contested by a break, made up of WorldTour riders and those representing the continental British teams. The second sprint is follows soon after, at 125km in Howden. Then we have a flat run into the finish in Doncaster. The stage comes to a close at 182km, which will inevitably end in a sprint.
Total stage length: 182km
1 King of the Mountain Climb:Côte de Baggaby Hill
2 Sprints: Pocklington & Howden
FAVOURITES (Stage 1)
MY PREDICTION: Mark Cavendish 🇬🇧 (Team Dimension Data) It’s got to be hasn’t it!
Stage two starts in Barnsley and after only 29km of racing will visit Côte de Blacker Hill for the first climb of the day. This is followed up 12km later by the first intermediate sprint of the day in Swinton. Then we have a relatively flat course (with a few little bumps along the way) to the second intermediate sprint in Scholes, 104km into the stage. The stage then begins to later slightly to a more selective field with the second climb of the day at Côte de Old Pool Bank less than 20km from the finish. The climb is 1km climb reaching 10% before descending into Otley on the run in to Ilkley. With 5km to go the riders will enter Ilkley before starting the run up to the finish, consisting of the uphill sprint to Côte de Cow and Calf, a 1.8km climb reaching 8.2%. This stages final could very, could we see the break take the spoils if the chasers don’t organise themselves in time. It’s probably unlikely with the host of World Tour team we have at the race and therefore more likely a select group of riders or a solo attack takes place in the final 20km (this will only be possible if some of the big WT teams have a man in the move. Therefore it is still a high possibility the full peloton arrives in Ilkley together and the more specialist riders take a crack at the uphill sprint.
Total stage length: 149km
3 King of the Mountain Climbs: Côte de Blacker Hill, Côte de Old Pool Bank and Côte de Cow and Calf.
2 Sprints: Swinton & Scholes
FAVOURITES (Stage 2)
Unlike previous editions of the Tour de Yorkshire, in 2018 we may see a ‘GC’ move early on in the race forcing teams to attack over the following two stages. if a select group of riders are to make the split, the key to it’s survival is the make up of the selection. On paper the strongest teams at the race are BMC, Astana, Sunweb, Sky and Dimension Data. If these five all make the move. It will be very hard for any other teams to pull them back in such a short distance. Whereas if a couple of the big teams miss it, there is a much greater chance the move will be brought back.
Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing), if he doesn’t make the selection it is more than likely the group will have to do battle with BMC to keep away. Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data) will be looking to defend his crown, the first person in Tour de Yorkshire history. Magnus Cort Neilsen or Yevgeniy Gidich (both Astana). Cort may be targeting the flatter stages so might give this one a rest and give a chance to the young Kazak rider Gidich, who’s coming off the back of a very impressive Tour of Croatia. I think Dylan Van Baarle will be the main man for Team Sky. The former Tour of Britian winner has looked sharp this year for Sky despite claiming a victory, with riders such as Doull and Stannard in the team he’ll surely be well supported. Young Australian Jai Hindley might be the man in a select group for Team Sunweb. This might be a little too steep for Mike Teunissen. Other riders who could feature in this ‘Select group’ could be Jonathon Hivert (Direct Energie). Hivert is having a good season and has raced the Tour de Yorkshire before. Finishing on the podium last year, Direct Energie also bring on average the oldest squad to the race (all that a lot of that being Sylvain Chavanel) could this benefit them against the relatively young WT squads? Another experienced rider who could target this stage is dutchman Peter Weening (Roompot). The PCM Hero, Eduard Prades (Euskadi – Murias) could maybe also contest stage two. Katusha Alpecin could release Marco Haller or Reto Hollenstein for a solo attack or group attack. Ben Swift (Great Britian) could make the selection or target the uphill drag. Another rider who has previously done well is Frenchman Stephane Rossetto (Confidis) and could follow some attacks on stage two.
MY PREDICTION: Dylan Van Baarle 🇳🇱 (Team Sky)
Total stage length: 184km
2 King of the Mountain Climbs: Côte de Sutton Bank & Côte de Slipho
2 Sprints: Morton on Swale & Pickering
FAVOURITES (Stage 3)
This years Tour de Yorkshire should follow the pattern of sprint stage, GC stage, sprint stage and GC stage. The third stage ‘should ‘ be a stage for the sprinters. Much like stage one into Doncaster the sprinters will contest the run into Scarborough. Procyclingstats.com has the top five sprinters at the race as Greg Van Avermaet (Team BMC), Magnus Cort Neilsen (Astana), Phil Bauhaus (Team Sunweb), Jon Aberasturi (Euskadi-Murias) and Wouter Wippert (Roompot). Although the biggest name sprinter, Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) is featured in the top 10! I predict the young german sprinters for Team Sunweb to go well, with Dimension Data possible having one eye on protecting Serge Pauwels and keeping him in the best condition possible for him to defend his crown on stage four.
MY PREDICTION: Phil Bauhaus 🇩🇪 (Team Sunweb)
This final stage features six classified climbs and over 3,400 metres of climbing. Starting in the West Yorkshire town of Halifax, the riders first head into North Yorkshire tackling the first climb of the day after only 16km of racing. The Côte de Hebden Bridge climb is a 7km climb reaching 4.6%. The second climb of the day isn’t far behind with the Côte de Goose Eye (1.5km at 10%). By this point the days break will probably be formed and battling it out for the points and KOM classification. These climbs will also be affecting the peloton behind. After the days of hard racing already in the pelotons legs, the peloton could see a grupetto form early on in the stage, with a selective peloton up the road. The third climb of the day comes at kilometre 48.5, the côte de Barden Moor is another short pull of 1km at 9.5%. Next on the road is the first sprint of the day at Kilnsey, 67.5km in to the stage and following the previous three climbs we may see whomever is leading the sprints classification struggle to contest there jersey if they are not a combative climber. Therefor we could see a more established rounder rider take on the points jersey rather than a traditional conti level rider. 10km after the sprint in Kilnsey the round climbs again with the Côte de Park Rash, a 2.2km drag at 10.5%. After this the riders will reach a relatively passive section of the stage. For the next 60km there is no sprints or categorised climbs, with the feed station at Middleham just before the 100km mark a chance for the riders to refuel and refocus for the decisive conclusion to the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire. The fifth climb of the day is the ascent of the Côte de Greenhow Hill. Situated at kilometre 138km and 3.3km at 8.2% the climb is followed 30km later by the final climb of the day, the Côte de Otley Chevin. The steepist climb of the stage at 10.3% and 1.4km in length. Could really test an already reduced peloton, and with limited numbers attacks could start to reign in. The climb is 25km out from the finish, which includes the final points sprint at the tour at kilometre 173, just over 15km out from home. This stage could becoem a staplehodl of British cycling and a mini classic within itself.
Total stage length: 189.5km
6 King of the Mountain Climbs: Côte de Hebden Bridge, Côte de Goose Eye, Côte de Barden Moor, Côte de Park Rash, Côte de Greenhow Hill & Côte de Otley Chevin
2 Sprints: Kilnsey & Arthington
FAVOURITES (Stage 4)
MY PREDICTION: Greg Van Avermaet 🇧🇪 (BMC Racing Team)
RIDERS TO ONES TO WATCH
Etienne Van Empel 🇳🇱 (Roompot – Nederlandse Loteri)
Roompot – Nederlandse Loteri will be riding in support of Pieter Weenign and Wouter Wippert but I’m excited to see Etienne Van Empel at this years race. He will not contest the GC or the sprints but think, if allowed, he could be Roompot’s guy to get in the breaks and mix it up in the KOM and Sprints classification.
Ben Swift 🇬🇧 (Great Britain)
I was really surprised to see Swift’s name of the Great Britain team roster. The UAE Team emirates rider has long been a favourite of mine. Swift will be making his return to action after suffering a fractured vertebrae at the Tour of Flanders. He’s unfortunately always been a rider with a very specific skill set and not a very defined role within any team he’s been in. Is he a sprinter, a guy for the classics or even a climber? Hopefully without any team tactics we can see Swift challenge in the sprints and on the climbs.
Thomas Pidcock 🇬🇧 (Great Britain)
The prince of British cycling. After winning the World Road championships for juniors in 2017, he signed for Team Wiggins and I’ll be looking forward to watching him on the Yorkshire roads. Could Pidcock target a home stage victory in Leeds?
Bryan Coquard 🇫🇷 (Vital Concept Cycling Club)
The most hot and cold rider of a generation. I really like the frenchman and always thought he was a WorldTour level sprinter. His move to Vital Concept Cycling Club from Direct Energie saw him miss out on last years tour. Despite in the previous edition (2016) he was millimetres away from his maiden Tour de France stage victory, losing out to Marcel Kittel. Lets see how he gets on, on stage one and three of this years race.
Jonathon Hivert 🇫🇷 (Direct Energie)
I really fancy Hivert for this years race. He’s been on a really good run of form and has previous at the Tour de Yorkshire. I’m looking for odds on the overall winner 🙂
This year I’m helping Will at Inside Peloton run the Tour de Yorkshire competition. Makes sure you get on over to Inside Peloton to enter the #FantasyFives competition for this years race. To enter a team either comment on the post or Tweet @InsidePeloton96 your five man team.